Tuesday 24 October 2017

Man admits killing girl in drive-by shooting

Niamh O'Donoghue and Mark O'Regan

A MAN has admitted killing 16-year-old Melanie McCarthy McNamara, who was shot dead in a drive-by attack last year.

Keith Hall (24), of Kilmartin Drive, Tallaght, Dublin, pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of Ms McCarthy McNamara at Tallaght on February 8, 2012.

Prosecuting counsel Brendan Grehan yesterday told the Central Criminal Court the plea was acceptable to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Hall was remanded in custody and will appear before the court again at the end of this month for sentencing.

Ms McCarthy McNamara was shot in the head as she sat in the back of a parked car with two young male friends and her fiance Christopher Moran.

Gardai believe the teenager was not the intended target.

The teenager, who had lived in London for most of her life, died the day after the shooting.

Ms McCarthy McNamara, who was two weeks from her 17th birthday, had got engaged some 18 months before her death. Her funeral Mass took place in the London church where she had planned to marry Mr Moran.

Celebrant Fr Peter Harries told mourners the teenager had "longed to be a bride" and was a vibrant person, "full of life".

The church, situated between Hampstead and Camden, was where Ms McCarthy McNamara made her First Holy Communion and is close to Queen's Crescent, where she grew up before moving to Ireland.

In a tribute read from the altar by a friend of the teenager, her father praised his daughter as "an amazing person".

Mr Justice Paul Carney directed the preparation of victim-impact statements and remanded Hall in custody for sentencing on July 31.

Irish Independent

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