Saturday 16 December 2017

Shane's mother thanks supporters as inquest returns murder verdict

Ralph Riegel and Barry Duggan

THE mother of Shane Geoghegan, the rugby player murdered in a case of mistaken identity, has paid an emotional tribute to those who supported her family.

Mary Geoghegan's comments came as an inquest in Limerick heard her son died from a gunshot wound to the back of his head as he desperately tried to flee from an armed assailant.

The Garryowen player (28) was shot five times as he walked home in the Dooradoyle suburb of Limerick on November 9, 2008. The fatal fifth shot was fired as he tried to run to safety.

Mrs Geoghegan paid tribute to everyone who has supported her family over the past five years. "I would like to say thank you," she told the inquest.

FEUDING

The Geoghegan family declined to comment further after Limerick coroner Dr Anthony Casey returned a verdict of murder, which the jury had taken less than two minutes to reach.

Murdered Limerick rugby player Shane Geoghegan
Murdered Limerick rugby player Shane Geoghegan
Mary Geoghegan, the mother of murdered Limerick rugby player Shane, arrives for her son's inquest in Limerick

Two men, John Dundon and Barry Doyle, are already serving life sentences for the murder of Mr Geoghegan.

The Central Criminal Court and the Special Criminal Court heard he was shot in a case of mistaken identity after the gunman (Doyle) confused him with another man who lived in the same area.

Doyle, who was from Dublin and had a serious drugs problem, had been sent to Dooradoyle by John Dundon to kill John 'Pitchfork' McNamara, with whom he had been feuding.

Doyle received a life sentence in 2012, while Dundon was jailed for life last month by the Special Criminal Court.

Dundon's trial heard he rang a rival criminal, Philip Collopy, on November 9, 2008 to boast about the shooting, only to discover that the wrong man had been killed.

The 40-minute inquest was attended by Mr Geoghegan's mother, Mary, his brother, Anthony, his aunt, Margaret Walsh, and his girlfriend, Jenna Barry, and her mother. At the request of the family, Dr Casey read out the full post mortem report by State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy.

She examined Mr Geoghegan at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick and found he had been shot five times.

The fatal wound, to the back of his head, was most likely inflicted as he fled from his attacker.

IMMOBILISED

The attack occurred only metres from Mr Geoghegan's home along a stretch of road where one of the main street lights was broken.

Dr Casey heard that the gunshot wound to the back of Mr Geoghegan's head pierced his brain stem before the bullet lodged behind his eye socket.

Fragments of bone were driven into the brain and Dr Casey was told the injury would have immediately immobilised Mr Geoghegan. It was impossible to say if he was standing when the final shot was fired.

Dr Casey told the jury the only verdict open to them was murder, and extended his sympathies to the Geoghegan family on their loss.

Irish Independent

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