Monday 23 September 2019

Two men wearing 'Freddie Kruger' masks entered Sunset House pub before fatal shooting of Michael Barr, court told

The Sunset House and inset, victim Michael Barr
The Sunset House and inset, victim Michael Barr

Daniel Hickey

Two men wearing "Freddie Kruger" masks entered the Sunset House pub in Dublin before the manager of the pub was shot dead, the Special Criminal Court has heard.

Eamonn Cumberton (30) of Mountjoy Street, Dublin 7, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of 35-year old Michael Barr in the Sunset House pub in Dublin’s north inner city on April 25th 2016.

It is the prosecution's case that Mr Cumberton is "inextricably linked" to items recovered from a partially burnt-out car near the scene and that the items themselves are "inextricably linked" to the shooting.

The State says that Mr Barr was shot seven times, with five shots to the head and one each to the shoulder and neck.

The court heard evidence today from a number of people who were in the Sunset House on the night of the shooting.

Theresa Smyth told Dominic McGinn SC, prosecuting, that there was a raffle on in the pub that night and that Mr Barr was there.

"It was his night off, so he was in good humour," Ms Smyth said.

She told the court that she was "messing at the bar" with Mr Barr and that he was "after saying he might be going on his holidays", when she saw two men come in wearing masks.

"I thought they were kissograms," Ms Smyth said. "I thought it was a joke. I said, 'There's two kissograms for you.'"

She said that they were wearing "Freddie Kruger" or "Halloween" masks.

The court heard that she heard someone say get down and that everybody got down.

"We didn't know what was going on," the witness said.

She told the court that when she looked at Mr Barr she saw "blood everywhere" and that he was "ready to fall".

"I realised there was a shooting," Ms Smyth said. "The glass was all over me. We were all shouting, in shock."

The men wearing the masks were gone "in seconds", the court heard.

Ms Smyth said that she saw Mr Barr "on the ground, all the blood coming from his head".

"I crawled over and blessed him," she said.

James Dunne told the court that he was organizing the raffle that night in the pub. He was there with his daughter, the court heard.

Mr Dunne said that two men dressed in black came into the bar, one of the men running past him while the other held the door.

"The one that passed me had a weapon", he said, adding that he thought it was a Glock handgun.

"The first thing I did was grab my daughter and run," Mr Dunne said.

The court then heard evidence related to the alleged getaway car.

James Fogarty said that on the night of the shooting he was on Walsh Rd in Drumcondra when a car came to a "screeching" and "sudden" stop on the footpath.

The court heard there were two people in the front of the car and one in the back.

"I started panicking because there were flames in the passenger side of the car," Mr Fogarty said.

The court heard that he then saw the people running from the car.

He told Mr McGinn that the driver was "stocky" with "not really much hair" and of "average build".

The trial continues in front of Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, sitting with Judge Patricia Ryan and Judge James Faughnan.

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