Saturday 17 March 2018

Father of murder accused tried to contact him after double killing

Nicola Donnelly

A TRIAL of two men accused of a double murder in Limerick has heard that the father of one of the accused had tried to contact his son when he learned of the shootings.

Patrick Stewart Senior of The Cedars, Briarfield gave evidence that when he heard about the shootings in O'Malley Park he phoned one of the accused, his nephew, Patrick O'Brien's father.

He then said he tried to contact his own son Thomas Stewart, the second accused, but could not reach him.

"Thomas had left his phone in our house," Mr Stewart told prosecuting counsel Mr Brendan Grehan, SC with Martina Baxter, BL.

It was day six of the trial at the Central Criminal Court of first cousins Patrick O'Brien (33) of Glanntan, Golflinks Road, Castletroy, Limerick and Thomas Stewart (29) of The Cedar, Briarfield, Castletroy, Limerick who have both pleaded not guilty to the murders of Mr Kelly (23) and Breda Waters (28) on January 9, 2011 at O'Malley Park in Limerick.

Mr Stewart told the jury the night before the double shootings, he went to his cousin's house for her son's Debs.

"Thomas came with me and was wearing tracksuit pants and a black jacket. He had a couple of bottle of Heineken and then we went to the Spotted Dog pub," said Mr Stewart.

He said he stayed until closing time but that Thomas Stewart and another man left to collect Stuart Moore from the Debs ball.

"Thomas and Patrick then came back to my house at around 5am and I woke up when I heard them but I went back to bed. They had a bottle of vodka with them. I then got up around 10.30am on Sunday and my wife Veronica, my son Patrick (Stewart) and my nephew Ian O'Leary were in the kitchen. Patrick and Ian go fishing every Sunday morning," he said.

He admitted he saw Thomas Stewart later in the day after he had heard of the shootings.

"He came home later that day and was wearing different clothes from the night before. He seemed a bit sick looking from drink. His eyes were very blood shot and watery looking," said Mr Stewart.

He said the second accused Patrick O'Brien had called around 3pm with his wife Susan.

"He looked okay to me and he came to see Thomas, who was asleep on the couch," he added.

The trial, which is before Mr Justice George Birmingham and a jury of six men and six women went into legal argument for the afternoon but is expected to resume before the jury on Thursday.

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