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'I lifted my T-shirt, a golf ball-size part of my gut was out'

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David Brannock (23), of St Joseph’s Way, Ballymun, Dublin.

David Brannock (23), of St Joseph’s Way, Ballymun, Dublin.

David Brannock (23), of St Joseph’s Way, Ballymun, Dublin.

A MAN has described seeing his gut hanging out of his body after a confrontation following his niece's Junior Cert results celebrations two years ago.

John O'Neill was giving evidence in the trial of a 23-year-old Dublin man charged with injuring him, his sister, niece and nephew, and murdering his brother-in-law.

David Brannock, of St Joseph's Way, Ballymun, is charged with murdering father-of-three Jason Flannery, causing serious harm to his brother-in-law, Mr O'Neill, and assault causing harm to Mr Flannery's daughter Jade Byrne, son Anthony Byrne and their mother, Claire Byrne.

Mr Brannock has pleaded not guilty to all five offences in the early hours of September 13, 2012 at St Joseph's Way, Poppintree, Ballymun.

Mr O'Neill testified yesterday that he was in the home of his sister, Claire Byrne, on the evening of September 12.

He told the Central Criminal Court that the family was celebrating Jade's Junior Cert results.

He said that David Brannock arrived at the house after midnight, was involved in an argument and was put out. He said that the accused began throwing bottles at the house and shouted: "I'll be back and yous are all going to get it."

He said that they knew Mr Brannock was back about 20 minutes later, when they heard things smashing off the porch.

He said that they opened the door and the accused was shouting: "Come on out."

He said that Jason Flannery and Anthony Byrne went out with a crutch each. He said he followed them a few seconds later. He said that by the time he caught up with them, he found his brother-in-law lying in a pool of blood.

"I seen a shadow and got a smack in the throat," he said. He said he then saw the accused and fought with him.

"I heard a woman's voice shouting: 'He has a knife'," he said. "I threw him to the ground and myself and Anthony went."

"When I was walking back, I could feel something pulling on my T-shirt," he said.

"I pulled up my T-shirt and noticed that part of my gut was falling out... a golf ball-size."

As well as the wound to his abdomen, for which he needed major surgery, he had a major laceration to his throat. He had seven stab wounds in total, he said.

He said that he spent 10 days in a coma, 25 days with a tube in his throat to help him breathe, and almost a month in hospital.

The court has already heard that Mr Flannery died at the scene, and his children Jade and Anthony Byrne received stitches for wounds they received that morning.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Carroll Moran and a jury.

Irish Independent