Tuesday 12 December 2017

Woman in house where brother was shot thought gunshots were "things being knocked over"

Nicola Donnelly

THE sister of a Limerick man shot in his own home in a double murder has told a jury she did not think the noises she heard were gun shots, but "things being knocked over" in the house.

Theresa Kelly, who was staying in the house in O'Malley Park in Limerick at the time of the double shootings, also thought her brother, one of the victims, Desmond Kelly "had fallen asleep" on the kitchen floor.

She also thought the second victim, Breda Waters, had "fallen asleep on top of the bed with her legs hanging down to the ground" as she did not initially notice anything wrong with them.

Ms Kelly (38) said she had been asleep in the house minding Mr Kelly's five month old child, when the two were shot dead.

It was day eight of the trial at the Central Criminal Court of first cousins Patrick O'Brien (33) of Glanntan, Golflinks Road, Castletroy, imerick and Thomas Stewart (29) of The Cedar, Briarfield, Castletroy, Limerick who have both pleaded not guilty to the murders of Mr Kelly (23) and Breda Waters (28) on January 9, 2011 at O'Malley Park in Limerick.

Ms Kelly told prosecuting counsel Mr Brendan Grehan, SC, she woke up and heard a knock on the door at around 9am but did not get out of bed and heard someone speaking. The next thing she heard was a bang downstairs but initially thought it was Martina Waters and Matthew Quinn, who were in the house partying the night before, returning.

"There was a party the night before and I thought they had knocked over something. Then I heard two people coming upstairs and heard whispers," she said.

Ms Waters said she heard the voice of one of the accused, Patrick O'Brien, asking Breda Waters where was her sister Martina.

"I heard Breda saying 'I swear to God she is up in Mattie's uncle's house,' and heard something that sounded like a stick banging off a door," she said in evidence.

She said everything went silent and the people went back downstairs and left the house.

"I thought Desmond was with them and I went back asleep," she said.

She later woke up to get a bottle for the baby and looked into the bedroom Ms Waters was staying in.

"I seen Breda on the bed with her legs on the ground and thought she had fallen asleep that way as there was a lot of drink taken the night before," she said.

When she walked into the kitchen she saw her brother Desmond lying on the ground.

"I said to myself, look at the stupid eejit, he has fallen asleep on the ground but then I saw the colour of his head and saw a hole in his head

with blood everywhere. I ran upstairs to Breda to see if she knew what had happened to Desmond. That's when I saw that it looked like a werewolf had gotten at her neck," said Ms Kelly.

She said she ran to her neighbour's house to alert her that the pair had been shot.

Under cross-examining by defence counsel for O'Brien, Mr Sean Gillane, SC, she denied that she had lied to gardai that O'Brien had not asked Desmond to 'slash the face of Martina Waters'.

"I was frightened of my life which is why I said at first he (O'Brien) hadn't threatened to have one of the Waters girls harmed," said Ms Kelly.

Mr Gillane put it to Ms Kelly that maybe she was not in the house at all as "shot gun blasts go off in your house, you stay upstairs and you do nothing else. You say you thought Martina and Mattie had come back to the house and were knocking things over? Yet the shot gun noise was loud enough to be heard two houses away?"

Ms Kelly said she "didn't know it was shotgun blasts. I fell back asleep, nothing happens in my mother's house. I thought it was still the party and I thought Desmond had left with Patrick O'Brien," said Ms Kelly.

Mr Gillane put it to Ms Kelly that she had suggested to gardai that a man known as Anthony Kelly Senior, who is not before the court, wanted Desmond Kelly shot.

"That was a rumour but I had heard it and I had asked Desmond was he worried and he said no, he wasn't," she said.

She agreed with Mr Gillane that Desmond had told her about a difficulty or run-in he had with Anthony Kelly previous to the shootings.

The trial continues before Mr Justice George Birmingham and a jury of six men and six women.

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