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Firearms residue found on clothing of two men charged with murdering dissident republican


Peter Butterly

Peter Butterly

Peter Butterly

A forensic scientist has testified that firearms residue was found on the clothing of two men on trial charged with murdering a dissident republican almost two years ago.

Peter Butterly was shot dead in the car park of the Huntsman Inn, Gormanston, Co Meath around 2pm on March 6 2013.

Three Dublin men are on trial at the non-jury Special Criminal Court, charged with his murder.

Dean Evans (24) of Grange Park Rise, Raheny; Edward McGrath (33) of Land Dale Lawns, Springfield, Tallaght; and Sharif Kelly (44) of Pinewood Green Road, Balbriggan have pleaded not guilty to murdering the 35-year-old father of two.

Evans and McGrath have also pleaded not guilty to firearm offences on the same occasion.

A forensic scientist testified today that he analysed clothing seized from Mr Evans and Mr McGrath following the killing.

Dr John O'Shaughnessy said he found firearms residue on a grey jumper attributed to Mr Evans and on a grey jacket attributed to Mr McGrath.

The court then heard from a forensic scientist, specialising in DNA, who examined clothing attributed to the boot of Mr Kelly’s wife’s car.

Sandra McGrath testified that the DNA profile on a tracksuit top and bottoms found there matched that of Dean Evans.

Ms McGrath also examined other items found elsewhere during the investigation. These included a black balaclava, black gloves and a black wig.

She said that a DNA profile matching that of Mr Evans was found on the balaclava and the gloves, while a DNA profile matching Mr McGrath’s was found on the black wig.

She agreed with Hugh Hartnett SC, defending Mr Evans, that DNA could be passed from one person to another and survive for a long time: several thousand years in the case of the Egyptian Pharaohs.

The trial is in its 47th day. The prosecution evidence is expected to finish tomorrow before the three-judge court, with Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy presiding.

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