Sunday 19 November 2017

No motive in case of man shot dead by best friend, court hears

Niamh O’ Donoghue

THE trial of a father-of-four accused of murdering his best friend at his apartment in north Dublin has heard no motive was established for the shooting.

Peter Donnelly (52) of The Green, Larch Hill Apartments, Santry, has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to murdering Edward Flanagan (49) at the same address on June 16 2011.

He has also pleaded not guilty to possession of a Baikal 9mm automatic pistol and three rounds of .38 calibre ammunition at the same address on June 15, 2011.

Today the court heard no motive emerged during the course of the murder investigation.

Detective Garda Shay Woods told Mr Patrick Marinan SC defending that there was “no explanation” for the shooting which Mr Donnelly had admitted he had carried out.

Det Gda Woods said the day after the incident the accused handed himself into Coolock Garda Station, was later arrested and told gardai in an interview that he stood behind the gun and pulled the trigger.

Mr Donnelly told gardai during the course of the interview that he should have put the gun to his own head instead.

In an earlier interview the court heard that Mr Donnelly got the gun from Mr Flanagan who had produced it, was waving it around and that it went off and shot him.

When asked if he thought the firearm was imitation Mr Donnelly said that he knew the gun was real.

When gardai asked him in a later interview why he pointed the gun to his friend’s head the accused replied “no comment”.

Gardai asked him again why he pointed a gun to the back of his head after being friends with him for 16 years and he said “I don’t have an answer”…”I wasn’t fighting with him.”

Mr Donnelly and Mr Flanagan who were both separated, were keen cyclists and would go on birdwatching trips together.

The accused told gardai he and Mr Flanagan, along with two other men he had been drinking with that day, went back to his apartment to continue drinking and watched violent films.

The trial has already heard the deceased had no top on and was holding a can of Dutch Gold lager when he was found.

Gardai, who were alerted by neighbours, forced entry to the apartment and emergency services at the scene tried to revive Mr Flanagan but he was pronounced dead shortly after midnight.

The trial continues before a jury of seven men and three women presided over by Mr Justice Paul Carney.

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