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Accused 'was hysterical' after brother was stabbed

A WOMAN accused of murdering her older brother after a house party was heard screaming "I can't believe I stabbed my brother", a court heard yesterday.

Caroline Brennan (19) of Love Lane, Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny, was "hysterical" when she ran out of her uncle's house after her brother was stabbed, a neighbour said in evidence.

Caroline Brennan denies murdering her brother, Michael Brennan (22), and went on trial yesterday at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Waterford.

Michael Brennan was pronounced dead at about 3.30am on December 30, 2008 after he was stabbed in the chest following a party at his uncle's house at Barrack Street, in Castlecomer.

Opening the case, John O'Kelly, prosecuting, said that Caroline Brennan had brought a knife to the party in her uncle Ollie Nolan's house on the night in question and, during a row, stabbed her brother once in the heart.

"She actually brought the knife with her when she was going up to Ollie Nolan's house because there had been some bad feeling between her and her brother," Mr O'Kelly said.

A knife was found the following day in a nearby garden.

Neighbour Sarah Byrne told the court that minutes before Michael was stabbed she saw the victim's girlfriend crying and frightened outside the house, with Caroline Brennan trying to console her.

Michael's girlfriend, Lisa Peagram, was saying "he's going to kill me" to Caroline, she said. Caroline replied: "I won't let him get you," and, according to Sarah Byrne, went back into the uncle's house "to get Lisa's coat and bag".

"A few minutes later Caroline came back out of the house. She was crying. She was just saying, 'Oh my God, I can't believe I stabbed my brother. Is he okay?'

"She was hysterical, crying and upset," the witness said.

Ms Byrne told the court she rang the gardai and subsequently saw Caroline walking around the corner, accompanied by another person. The other person said: "We'll just sit into the car, don't be worrying".

Girlfriend

Under cross-examination from Patrick McCarthy, defending, the witness agreed there was a row earlier on in the house between Michael Brennan and his girlfriend, Lisa Peagram.

She didn't see Michael hitting Lisa, she said, but agreed with Mr McCarthy that it sounded like he had done so.

Ms Byrne said she had rung the garda station "a number of times" during the previous year because of noise and trouble from the house next door.

The witness's partner, Eddie Lawlor, said he was woken up by noise from Ollie Nolan's house at about 2.50am. Among the things he heard was "a panicky scream" from Caroline Brennan, who shouted "I can't believe I stabbed him".

The trial continues.


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