Father and son 'had a love-hate relationship', murder trial jury told

Anthony ‘Tony’ Tims (74) was killed after returning home from the pub on his 74th birthday

Eoin Reynolds

A man who is accused of murdering his father during a row over a burnt breakfast had a "love-hate" relationship with his dad, the deceased's sister has told the Central Criminal Court.

Another witness told the trial that Mark Tims is "not a bad person" while another described him as a "lovely fella".

Mr Tims (48) has pleaded guilty to manslaughter but not guilty to the murder of his father Anthony 'Tony' Tims at the home they shared at Rowlagh Green, Clondalkin, Dublin 22, on July 13, 2018.

The trial has previously heard that a row erupted when Anthony Tims returned home from the pub on his 74th birthday and the accused told him he had "cremated" his breakfast.


A witness has told that trial that Anthony Tims then told his son he wished he had never been born before the accused, who was "in a rage", put his father in a headlock, punched him twice in the head and kicked him when he fell to the floor.

Sandra O'Donnell, the deceased's younger sister, yesterday told prosecution counsel Michael Delaney SC that Anthony's wife Dolores died in 1996.

Although Mark continued living with his father, Ms O'Donnell said there were "always little arguments that went on between the two of them".

On the day of Anthony's death, Ms O'Donnell received a phone call from Mark's partner, Elizabeth 'Lil' McDonagh, and went to Anthony's home.

She saw him being taken out by an ambulance crew. "I knew he was dead," she said.

Ms O'Donnell phoned Mark and he told her he was hiding. When she asked why, he responded: "I gave my dad a couple of slaps and kind of lost it."

The witness told defence counsel Vincent Heneghan SC that Mark and his dad were "close" when Mark was a boy.

She agreed that as he got older and his health started to suffer, Anthony became "narky" and "cranky".

Asked to comment on the relationship between Mark and his dad, she said: "I would say they had a love-hate relationship."

Peter Fox told Mr Delaney that Mark is a good friend of his and when he found out what had happened he phoned Mark to get him to hand himself in.

Mr Fox said he told him: "You're after killing your father" and he replied: "You're messing. I didn't, I didn't, I didn't."

Mr Tims was crying and said: "He was at me and at me and at me, you know the way he is. Backing me into a corner."

The witness added: "I know what happened but underneath it all Mark's not a bad person."

Mr Fox told defence counsel Mr Heneghan that during a second call Mr Tims told him he didn't mean to kill his father.


James Berney told Mr Delaney that on the evening of July 13, 2018 he was having a few cans of cider on a wall when he saw Mark Tims cycling by.

He told Mr Berney that he had had a fight with his dad and a little time later he received a phone call saying he was dead.

He began screaming "no, no, no". Mr Berney said he was worried Mr Tims was going to jump in front of a bus.

Mr Tims bought eight cans of cider and a bottle of vodka. They drank the cans in a nearby park and "talked about old times".

The witness told Mr Heneghan that Mr Tims told him his father had "started on him and he lost control. He said his dad kept picking on him".

When asked if he thought Mark was in shock, he said: "Of course he was. Mark is a lovely fella."

The trial continues.