Tuesday 17 July 2018

Cigarette smoked by man accused of shooting pub manager was seized by gardai and sent to forensic lab, court hears

Gardaí at the scene of the shooting at the Sunset House pub in Summerhill, Dublin, last year Photo: Reuters/Clodagh Kilcoyne
Gardaí at the scene of the shooting at the Sunset House pub in Summerhill, Dublin, last year Photo: Reuters/Clodagh Kilcoyne
Victim Michael Barr

Daniel Hickey

The butt of a cigarette smoked in a garda station by the man accused of murdering the manager of the Sunset House pub in Dublin last year was seized by gardai and sent to the forensic science laboratory for analysis, the Special Criminal Court has heard.

Eamonn Cumberton (30), of Mountjoy Street, Dublin 7, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of 35-year old Michael Barr in the Sunset House pub in Dublin’s north inner city on April 25, 2016.

It is the prosecution's case that Mr Cumberton is "inextricably linked" to items recovered from a partially burnt-out car near the scene and that the items themselves were "inextricably linked" to the shooting.

The defence is challenging the legality of the accused man's arrest. Evidence is being heard in voir dire - or a 'trial within a trial' - to help the judges the determine its admissibility.

The court has previously heard that Mr Cumberton was arrested on foot of an outstanding bench warrant at Dublin Airport on May 25th, having returned from Bangkok, and was taken to Bridewell garda station.

Sergeant David Cryan told prosecuting counsel Dominic McGinn today/yesterday (Tues) that an incident room for the Michael Barr shooting investigation had been set up in the Bridewell.

He said he was asked by Inspector Brian Delaney to contact him if an opportunity arose to take a DNA sample from Mr Cumberton.

The court heard that before the accused man was taken from the station he smoked a cigarette in the back yard and discarded the butt on the ground.

Sergeant Cryan said that he contacted Insp Delaney.

Sergeant Michael Donnellan told the court that he recovered the cigarette butt from the ground and a plastic cup from the cell Mr Cumberton had been held in.

The sergeant said the purpose of seizing the items was that there were "reasonable grounds" they contained DNA evidence related to the alleged murder.

The court heard that the two items were sent to the forensic science lab for analysis.

The trial continues in front of Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, sitting with Judge Patricia Ryan and Judge James Faughnan.

Victim Michael Barr
Victim Michael Barr

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