Wednesday 11 December 2019

Man denies murdering man and injuring four others after Junior Cert celebration

A 23-year-old Dublin man has gone on trial charged with murdering a man and injuring his partner, two of his children and another family member following Junior Cert result celebrations two years ago.

David Brannock of St Joseph’s Way, Ballymun is charged with murdering Jason Flannery, causing serious harm to John O’Neill and assault causing harm to Jade Byrne, Anthony Byrne and Claire Byrne on September 13th, 2012.

Mr Brannock has pleaded not guilty to all five offences and went on trial this morning at the Central Criminal Court.

Dominic McGinn SC, prosecuting, told the jury that all five offences arose from a violent confrontation in the early hours at St Joseph’s Way, Poppintree, Ballymun.

Siblings Jade and Anthony Byrne and their mother, Claire Byrne, were injured. Their uncle, John O’Neill sustained more serious injuries, and their father, Jason Flannery, was stabbed and died.

He explained in his opening speech that Jade Byrne had encountered the accused in her friend’s house the evening before, while celebrating her Junior Cert results. They’d had an argument, but it didn’t seem serious and Ms Byrne returned home, he said.

The barrister said that the celebrations continued in Ms Byrne’s house and that the accused arrived there later. There was another argument and he was asked to leave.

He said that the family heard banging on a front window about 20 minutes later and the men went outside, where they saw the accused running away. They chased him towards St Joseph’s Way.

Mr McGinn said that Mr Flannery was forced to the ground and the accused began to kick him in the head. John O’Neill tried to pull him off, but David Brannock struck him too. Anthony Byrne began to intervene but was also injured, he said.

Jade Byrne went to where her father was lying but couldn’t find a pulse, he said. She approached the accused and was slashed down her back. Claire Byrne said she was kicked on the ground.

Mr Flannery died at the scene. John O’Neill received serious stab wounds, spent a week in intensive care and a month in hospital. Jade and Anthony O’Neill received stitches for their wounds.

“The prosecution case is that David Brannock, having been forced out of the house, armed himself with a knife and returned to lure them out of the house,” said Mr McGinn.

 “Self defence may be the live issue in the case and may be what you have to consider,” he added.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Carroll Moran a jury of five women and seven men.

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