Wednesday 22 November 2017

Trial jury reviews CCTV footage in connection to murder of Seamus O' Byrne

Criminal Courts of Justice (CCJ) Dublin
Criminal Courts of Justice (CCJ) Dublin

A Dublin murder trial jury spent much of today watching CCTV footage of garda suspects and vehicles of interest to the investigation captured in the days before the killing.

Among the footage were video recordings of man whom the prosecution believes is the accused.

Eugene Cullen of Derry Road, Crumlin has pleaded not guilty to murdering Seamus O' Byrne (27) at Tymon Park North, Tallaght, on March 13, 2009.

The Central Criminal Court has heard that Mr O’Byrne was shot dead by a hooded gunman in front of his girlfriend and child in the driveway of their home.

The prosecution alleges that Mr Cullen was not the gunman but one of four men involved in plotting, planning and executing the murder.

In his opening speech, Mr Alex Owens SC prosecuting told the court that Mr O'Byrne was shot at 8:15 pm as he was leaving his house on the date in question.

He said the prosecution's case was not that Mr Cullen was the gunman. A man from Bray, Garret O'Brien, who has since been convicted, was brought in to do that job.

Today (THURSDAY) Detective Garda Michael McGrath commented on CCTV footage of a car park at a hotel complex and a number of shops in the days before the shooting.

The court heard that on March 12, 2009 the accused went into a service station shop and exited with a green canister in his hand.

The court was told he filled the canister with petrol and opened the door of what Det Gda McGrath said appeared to be a silver Ford Transit van and puts the green canister inside.

Mary Farrell who lives at Tymon North Lawns said that on the day before the shooting she noticed two men facing out onto the green.

She said one had a reflective jacket on, the other man was in dark clothing and they were looking across the green area at Tymon Park North.

Detective Sergeant Tom McManus told the court he arrested Garrett O Brien for unlawful possession of a firearm in relation to the incident and he was taken to Tallaght Garda Station.

Garda Stephen Nealon gave evidence that Garrett O’ Brien was brought to an interview room at Tallaght Garda Station and forensic samples were taken on March 17, 2009.

Forensic scientist Hugh Coyle said he received a number of items including three parts of a mobile phone referred to by Mr Owens as ‘the Tymon phone’ and took a number of DNA lifts.

Forensic scientist Michael Burrington said he was given three parts of a mobile phone and swabs from Garrett O’Brien and a control swab.

He said there was a major DNA profile of O’Brien’s on the back of the phone and a minor profile on its battery.

He agreed with Mr Sean Gillane SC defending that he received a number of items and swabs and three swabs labelled ‘Eugene Cullen’.

State Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy previously gave evidence the deceased sustained five gunshot wounds.

She said the cause of death was the effects of gun shot wounds to the chest and that wounds to the head and left leg were a contributing factor.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Barry White and a jury of five men and seven women.

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