Tuesday 21 November 2017

Donal Colgan 'drank up to 12 pints of cider' before killing, court hears

Donal Colgan (64), of Killarney Street, Dublin 1, arrives at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin. Pic Collins Courts.
Donal Colgan (64), of Killarney Street, Dublin 1, arrives at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin. Pic Collins Courts.

Eoin Reynolds

A MURDER accused left a row at a chip shop near his home and returned minutes later with a knife, a barrister told a jury at the Central Criminal Court today.

Donal Colgan (65), of Killarney Court, Killarney St, Dublin 1, has pleaded not guilty to murdering 39-year-old David Sheridan outside Luigi's chip shop on the North Strand Road on August 17/18, 2014.

Opening the trial today prosecuting counsel Paul Burns SC said Mr Sheridan met a friend on Summerhill Parade earlier in the day on August 17, bought drink at an off licence and returned to Summerhill.

Later on they went to the chip shop on North Strand Road, taking the drink from the off-licence with them. Donal Colgan and a number of other young people were already there. At some point Mr Colgan went outside and there was an "altercation" but then Mr Colgan left the area.

When Mr Colgan returned some time later he was "carrying a knife which he used to stab David Sheridan a number of times," Mr Burns said.

Mr Sheridan died the following day and a postmortem showed that a number of stab wounds caused his death.

The jury of nine men and three women was then shown CCTV footage of Mr Colgan's movements that evening. Garda Eoin Treacy of Mountjoy Garda Station told Mr Burns that he had compiled footage from the Sunset House pub, Luigi's chip shop and a nearby Centra.

He said the footage showed Mr Colgan in the pub from shortly before 7pm until after 10pm. Defence counsel Patrick Marrinan SC asked Garda Treacy if it would surprise him, having seen the CCTV footage, that the barman at the Sunset said Mr Colgan drank 10 to 12 pints of cider that night. "It wouldn't surprise me," he answered.

Mr Colgan then arrived at Luigi's a short time after leaving the pub. Garda Treacy said that while he waited for his food he can be seen engaging with a number of other customers before Mr Sheridan arrived with his friend. Garda Treacy said there was an interaction between Mr Colgan and Mr Sheridan and the accused man left before the deceased.

The CCTV then showed Mr Colgan walking towards his home in nearby Killarney Court and then seven minutes later, at 10.40pm, he is seen walking back towards Luigi's. Two minutes after that the CCTV inside the chip shop captured a "confrontation" outside the front of the chip shop, said Garda Treacy. He said a man wearing a black jacket is seen lunging forward with his right arm at another man. Mr Colgan was then captured walking away from the scene, followed by two men, including Mr Sheridan's friend. Garda Treacy said the footage showed him carrying a knife as he walked back in the direction he had come.

Speaking to Mr Marrinan Garda Treacy agreed that there seemed to be a lot of interaction between Mr Colgan and other people in the chip shop but he did not seem to be say much to Mr Sheridan or his friend. He said that Mr Colgan left the chip shop without communicating with Mr Sheridan.

Garda Treacy further agreed that it would be a fair summary of the rest of the footage to say that Mr Colgan "left the scene with the knife he had used to stab Mr Sheridan and did not attempt to secrete the knife."

He said he was followed by two men who, at one point, he turns towards and seems to tell them to back off.

The trial continues tomorrow in front of Justice Carmel Stewart and the jury of nine men and three women.

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