Tuesday 16 October 2018

Man (54) 'savagely beaten to a pulp, stripped of clothes in drunken row over cigarette' - murder trial hears

Murder victim Dermot Byrne (56) was a father of three
Murder victim Dermot Byrne (56) was a father of three

Eoin Reynolds

A 54-year-old man was "savagely beaten to a pulp" and stripped of his clothes following a drunken row over a cigarette, a barrister has told a murder trial.

Vincent Heneghan SC opened the trial of Anthony Walsh (31) who has admitted killing but pleaded not guilty to the murder of Dermot Byrne on July 16, 2017 at North St, Swords, Co Dublin.

He also pleaded guilty to stealing a bank card, keys and a lighter from Mr Byrne on the same date and at the same location.

Outlining the prosecution case, Mr Heneghan said the two men were drinking at different pubs in Swords on the night and first met one another at about 2.10am outside the Harp Bar where CCTV footage showed Mr Byrne attempting to pull a cigarette from the accused man's mouth.

Security men from the bar held Mr Byrne while the accused walked away with his friends and at 2.14am Mr Byrne walked towards Main St, in the same direction as the accused.

The CCTV does not show what happened next but at 2.50am a retired garda discovered the body. Mr Byrne had been stripped of his clothes and was surrounded by blood.

Anthony Walsh. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Anthony Walsh. Photo: Colin O'Riordan

Mr Heneghan said a pathologist will detail more than 100 injuries including fractures to facial bones, fractured ribs, and bruising to the face and scalp. He died from traumatic brain injuries complicated by acute intoxication and the inhalation of blood.

Mr Heneghan said the deceased was "savagely beaten to a pulp by the accused and that beating amounts to murder".

The trial continues this afternoon in front of Justice Eileen Creedon and a jury of six men and six women.

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