Tuesday 24 October 2017

'Man told gardai he threw keys into bush following murder of two women'

Sylvia Shields (60) and Mary Callanan (61) murdered in 1997

Mark Nash
Mark Nash

Alison O'Riordan

A jury has heard how a man who was first charged with the double murder of two women, but later had the charge withdrawn, said to three gardai how he threw keys into a bush, following the murder of the two women in sheltered accommodation in Grangegorman in 1997.

Dean Lyons, now deceased was the first person who made an independent admission to the murder of Sylvia Shields (60) and Mary Callanan (61) between March 6 and March 7, 1997 and he was charged with the double murder of the women in the sheltered accommodation in Grangegorman in July 1997.

Mark Nash (42) who has last addresses at Prussia Street and Clonliffe Road in Dublin, has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to the murder of Sylvia Shields (60) and Mary Callanan (61) between March 6 and March 7, 1997.

The court today heard how a door key was located some days after March 6 1997 in a garden just 25 metres from Orchard View in Grangegorman.

Mr Patrick McGrath SC for the defence told the court today how Dean Lyons pointed out a hedge at a house on Rathdown Road where he said he threw the key, upon exiting the house at Orchard View between March 6 and March 7 1997.

Under cross examination from Mr McGrath, Assistant Commissioner Derek Byrne told the court today the key belonged to Ann Mernagh, the third woman who lived in sheltered accommodation in Grangegorman, but who was left unharmed in bed with her earphones in, on the night of the double murder.

"My understanding is a young girl who is now deceased found a key in her front garden and brought it to the attention of her mother, who returned it to gardai and it was understood to be Ann Mernagh's key" said Asst. Comm Byrne.

In April 1998, the charge was withdrawn from Dean Lyons.

The court heard yesterday that it was not until 1999 that Dean Lyons made a formal retraction of his admissions through a solicitor in a solicitor's office.

The trial continues.

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