| 2.2°C Dublin

Accused 'admitted killing homeless man', court hears


Gerard Donnelly

Gerard Donnelly

Gerard Donnelly

A witness has told a murder trial that the accused told her he had killed a homeless man because the deceased had been accused of 'touching young kids' and was a garda informant.

Charlene O'Connor was giving evidence to the Central Criminal Court yesterday in the trial of another homeless man charged with murdering Gerard Donnelly (pictured) in a Dublin park in 2013.

The court heard that gardai found the 36-year-old's body on fire in the Phoenix Park. The dad-of-one died of blunt force trauma and was already dead when his body was set alight and his little toe cut off.

Ciaran Moran (29), with an address at Camden Hall, Camden Street in Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to murdering him at an unknown time during November 28 or 29, 2013.

Ms O'Connor testified that she met the accused at Heuston Station on November 28 so she could get diazepam.

She said that she and Mr Moran took the Luas to Connolly Station and she asked what was in the bag he had.

"He told me there was a blow torch, hammer, cable ties," she said. "He said it was to do with a man who'd interfered with children and he was to be taught a lesson."

She said that she had conversations with Mr Moran the following day before meeting him at a coffee shop.

"He was looking at the paper. It was about him [the deceased] being found murdered in the park," she said. "I asked him was it him who'd done it and he said 'yeah'."

She said she asked him why.

"Ciaran said the man had been accused of touching young kids and he was an informant to the guards," she said, adding that he told her that two Germans were also involved.

"I didn't realise it had been done for money," she said.

"He showed me two pictures on his phone. One was a toe and the other was a face but I couldn't identify it," she said. "Ciaran Moran said it was proof to the Germans that he had done the job."

The trial continues this afternoon before Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan and a jury.