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'I feared for my life after stab threat'

RTE reporter Fergal Keane yesterday described how he was in "fear of his life" when a man threatened to stab him after he chased a youth from his home.

Mr Keane was giving evidence in the trial of Miley Connors at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Mr Connors (40), of Glensh-ane Lawns, Tallaght, has pleaded not guilty to burglary, thre- atening to kill or cause serious harm and production of rocks at Monkstown Avenue, Monk-stown, on November 25, 2007.

Mr Keane said the man threatened him and threw a rock at him, before a number of rocks were thrown at his car, which was outside his house.

His three children, aged between five and 11 at the time, were sitting in the car with his wife and he told the jury he could hear the youngsters "screaming in terror".

Mr Keane's wife, Tara Buckley, later said there were "tears streaming down my nine-year-old's face" and she was "very nervous for my children" while the rocks were being thrown.

Mr Keane told Mr Vincent Heneghan, prosecuting, that he was "very conscious" to get a good look at the man who threatened him. "I wanted to imprint his face in my mind. I told him 'I see you'," Mr Keane said.


He told Mr Heneghan he had "no doubt" looking at this man's demeanour that he would stab him. "I was in fear of my life. That is the only reason I did not confront him," Mr Keane said.

Mr Keane told Mr Heneghan that he, his wife and children had returned home at 7.10pm when he spotted a man trying to duck in behind his gates. He stopped the car, got out and spotted two other men in his garden. He asked them what they were doing and they said "playing hide and seek".

Mr Keane said he then saw the first man run out from behind the gate and around the side of his car so he chased after him and grabbed him.

He said the man was holding a paper bag, which then tore or fell to the ground and a PlayStation, games and DVDs that he had identified as coming from his home, spilled out.

Mr Keane said he was going to try and hold onto this man because he was hoping the other two men would run off and he could call the gardai. He had a hold of this first man's arm and the back of his neck. He then saw a fourth man coming from across a green area close to his home.

He told Mr Heneghan this man had one hand in his pocket and a rock in his other hand.

Mr Keane said this man then told him "I'll stab you" before he threw a rock at him and moved back towards the green area.

The trial continues .

Irish Independent