Wednesday 24 January 2018

Two found guilty of murdering dissident republican Peter Butterly

Peter Butterly
Peter Butterly

Daniel Hickey

Two Dublin men have been found guilty at the Special Criminal Court of murdering dissident republican Peter Butterly four years ago.

Mr Butterly (35) was shot dead on March 6th, 2013 outside The Huntsman Inn, Gormanston, Co Meath in what the court described today an "ambush".

Four men were originally charged with the murder. One of the men, David Cullen, subsequently turned State witness, and his murder charge was dropped. The fourth man, Dean Evans (24), of Grange Park Rise, Raheny, Dublin, failed to turn up for the trial, and was not located by gardai.

Edward McGrath (35), of Land Dale Lawns, Springfield, Tallaght and Sharif Kelly (47), of Pinewood Green Road, Balbriggan had both denied the murder.

Mr McGrath was also convicted of firearms offences on the same date.

The court heard that both men were arrested by gardai after a "callous, brutal and premeditated murder, both performing their assigned roles".

McGrath, wearing a disguise of a black wig, had driven a stolen silver Toyota Corolla to the Huntsman Inn carpark. It was alleged that Dean Evans was a passenger in the back of the car, behind the driver's seat, and that he shot Mr Butterly.

McGrath then drove the Corolla away from the carpark and up Flemington Rd. He stopped the car in a laneway. The court heard that this was where the car was to be destroyed.

Further back the road, Sharif Kelly was in a green Opel Zafira. Clothes with Mr Evans' DNA were found in the boot of the car.

It was the second trial of McGrath and Kelly. The first trial collapsed in January 2015 after 55 days.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, remanded both men in custody until April 7th, when they will be sentenced.

More to follow...

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