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Murder accused's boasts were just all 'false bravado'

THE former girlfriend of the man accused of murdering Shane Geoghegan yesterday insisted his boasts about the incident were "false bravado".

The 28-year-old Garryowen rugby player was shot five times in the head and upper body in the early hours of November 9, 2008, at the Clonmore Estate, Dooradoyle, Limerick.

Yesterday Victoria Gunnery told the Central Criminal Court that the accused, Barry Doyle (25), originally from Dublin, texted her at 8pm on the night of the murder and said he would turn off his phone, as he had "something to do".

When the phone was turned on at 1.30am, Ms Gunnery texted him asking what he'd done and was told to "check the teletext" in the morning.

Ms Gunnery said that when she learned a man in Limerick had been shot, she texted Mr Doyle calling him a scumbag.

Mr Doyle, of Portland Row in Dublin and Hyde Road in Limerick denies the murder charge.

Giving evidence at the trial yesterday, Ms Gunnery said that Mr Doyle went to Turkey a few days after the murder and rang her from there.

"He asked me what were the newspapers saying about the murder in Limerick," she said.

"I said: 'They know it's you because they say it's a very close associate of Patrick Doyle'," she said, referring to the defendant's brother. "He said they had no proof," she continued.


She collected him at the airport on his return to Ireland around Christmas and he stayed with her in her sister's home. She said they had a discussion about the incident on the way to a chip shop.

"When I asked him questions, I never mentioned the name or said 'murder'," she explained. "I asked him: 'What do you think about what you did?' He said: 'I don't think about it'."

"I just said to him: 'That was an innocent man'," she told the court. "He said: 'If it wasn't an innocent man, there wouldn't be so much hype'."

But she said that she did not believe Mr Doyle had committed the murder.

She said that Mr Doyle had never admitted his involvement in Mr Geoghegan's death to her and that she was satisfied that he wasn't involved.

"If I thought that, I would never have anything to do with him," she said. "I thought it was all false bravado."

Ms Gunnery agreed with the defence that gardai arrested her at her home on February 24, 2009, and questioned her over three days.

She said that it was distressing to be away from her child.

She claimed that when questioned, gardai threatened to prosecute her in court for wasting police time. She cried in the witness box and said she had cried in custody, telling gardai that all she wanted was to go back to her baby.

State Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy also gave evidence yesterday. She said that Mr Geoghegan died after five gunshot wounds, including one to the back of the head and one to the back of his shoulder.

These two were potentially fatal and sustained when he was facing away from his attacker, possibly at the same time.

The trial is ongoing.

Irish Independent