Tuesday 22 January 2019

Man (37) accused of murdering nephew's friend 'has strong religious beliefs'

Tadhg Butler in a photo from 2000
Tadhg Butler in a photo from 2000

Natasha Reid

A father-of-five accused of murdering his nephew’s friend by stabbing him to death told gardai that he had strong religious beliefs and attended prayer meetings.

Tadhg Butler was being interviewed by gardai investigating the death of 25-year-old Michael O’Dwyer in Co Waterford on 10th January 2014. He died in hospital, hours after receiving a stab wound at a party in Mr Butler’s house.

The 37-year-old, with an address at Seafield in Tramore, is on trial at the Central Criminal Court, where he has pleaded not guilty.

The court has heard that his nephew told gardai that Mr Butler had walked over and stabbed his friend as they sat and chatted.

Garda Jennifer Ryan testified this morning that she and a colleague then interviewed the accused, who said it had nothing to do with him.

She told Tony McGillicuddy SC, prosecuting, that they asked him if he was sorry about Mr O’Dwyer’s death.

“I’m saddened by his death and saddened for his family members for the way they feel, like everyone else,” he replied.

“Do you respect life?” he was asked.

“Yeah, of course I do,” he replied.

They asked how he felt about being arrested.

“Well you know, these things happen,” he said.

He was asked how religious he was.

“I go to Mass every Sunday, say the rosary,” he replied.

“What else?” asked the gardai.

“Prayer meetings,” he added, agreeing that he had strong religious beliefs.

“Thou shalt not kill. What do you think of that?” he was asked.

“Yeah, it’s in the commandments,” he agreed.

“It’s a big one,” it was suggested.

“Yeah, if someone knowingly did it,” he replied.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Paul Butler and a jury of six men and six women.

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