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'I killed devil' - murder trial hears 999 call

A MURDER trial jury has heard a recording of a 999 call in which the caller told gardai that he had killed the devil.

The tape was played at the Central Criminal Court yesterday in the trial of a man charged with murdering a 21-year-old student in Co Clare.

Joe Heffernan (33) of Cappagh Beg, Barefield, Ennis, Co Clare, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Eoin Ryan at that address on June 7, 2011.

Bernard Condon, prosecuting, said the deceased had finished university and spent some time travelling around Europe before returning to Newhall.

He was working for the summer and had planned to move to Belfast, but met "an awful death", he said.

"He had been out on the night of June 6 with two girl friends," he explained. "Eoin was a young gay man."

He said that Mr Ryan and his friends ended up in a pub. Alone in the same pub was Heffernan, an only child who lived and worked on the family farm in Cappagh Beg.

"In the early hours, Eoin appears to have gone in a taxi with the accused out to Cappagh Beg," he said.


Heffernan rang the gardai at 6.05am to say he had killed someone.

Two 999 calls were later played to the jury.

"Hello. This is Joe Heffernan. I'm after killing a man," the caller told Garda Claire O'Shaughnessy.

"He came on to me and I killed him. I'm not gay or nothing you know. I'm going to kill myself. I'm not going to prison."

Garda Niall Cosgrave then gave evidence of receiving a second 999 call. "I killed the devil," said the caller. "The devil came for me but I took him.

"I put him in a barrel."

"Who?" asked Garda Cosgrave.

"The devil," replied the caller.

"How did you know it was the devil?" asked the garda.

"His eyes," he replied.

Mr Condon told the jury that the gardai found Mr Ryan's body upside down in a barrel in a field in Cappagh Beg.

"This man was essentially beaten to death," he said.

"A socket wrench was found. The blood of Eoin Ryan was found on that," he added.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of seven women and five men.