Monday 18 December 2017

Man found guilty of manslaughter of archaeologist after stabbing him to death in 'drink fuelled argument'

Archaeologist Emmet Connolly, who was stabbed to death
Archaeologist Emmet Connolly, who was stabbed to death

Alison O’Riordan

A Dublin man has been found not guilty of the murder but guilty of the manslaughter of archaeologist Emmett Connolly in Co Cavan 18 months ago.

Kevin Moran (30) of Lodgeview, Cootehill, Co Cavan, but originally from Shankill in Dublin, was charged before the Central Criminal Court with the murder of Emmet Connolly (32) at Lodgeview, Cootehill on September 29 2013.

When asked how he pleaded to the charge last week, the widowed father-of-three Moran said “not guilty. Not guilty of murder, guilty of manslaughter”. This plea was not accepted by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

The jury began its deliberations last Friday afternoon and spent over four hours and 43 minutes deliberating before Mr Justice Paul Carney sent them home for the weekend.

The jury returned this morning and spent 28 minutes deliberating, bringing the total deliberations to five hours and eleven minutes before finding Moran not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter, by a majority verdict of 10-2.

Moran will be remanded in custody until March 9 for sentencing

Judge Carney thanked the jury and excused them from jury service for the rest of their lives.

The five day trial before Mr Justice Paul Carney heard how the deceased was stabbed 17 times following a "drink fuelled" argument which ensued between Emmet Connolly and Kevin Moran on Saturday September 28 2013.

The jury of seven men and five women previously heard evidence that Moran told gardai in an interview that he panicked and stabbed the deceased after a  fight, but later told them he had stabbed Mr Connolly in a "rage".

According to Moran's statement at the time of being charged, a row had developed between Moran and Mr Connolly. Moran suggested that Mr Connolly wanted drugs but no drugs were gotten.

Counsel for the DPP, Paddy McCarthy SC said previously there was no previous history between Moran and Mr Connolly and they had not known each other.

Last Thursday Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis gave evidence, where he outlined to the court the extent of the 17 stab wounds inflicted on Emmet Connolly.

The court previously heard that 32 year old Emmet Connolly was single and had lived with his family. He had graduated from NUI Galway and had recently returned from Australia.

When Dr Curtis arrived at the scene at 2.45pm on Sunday September 29, there no sign of life to be found from Emmet Connolly who he observed sitting on a plastic bag which contained animal shavings and up against a freezer "which bore blood stains." Sitting in a crouched position, Emmet Connolly was beside a sliding back patio door leading into the back garden.

Mr Curtis told the court last week that a a black handled knife, seven inches long with a distortion to the tip, was found on the drain of the kitchen sink.

The post mortem conducted by Dr Curtis found that the majority of the wounds to Emmet Connolly were to his left collar bone, his front left shoulder region, his left upper arm and left upper back.

Dr Curtis stated to the court last week, that the cause of death of Emmet Connolly was from “multiple stab wounds" and there was no wounds to his stomach, as initially implied by Kevin Moran.

Judge Carney asked the jury to consider another partial defence, provocation, which can also reduce murder to manslaughter.

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