A WOMAN giving evidence in the trial of a 30-year-old man accused of murder told how she grappled with a hooded gunman – after she and her partner had already been shot.
Eugene Cullen of Derry Road, Crumlin, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Seamus O'Byrne (27) at Tymon Park North, Tallaght, on March 13, 2009.
The prosecution alleges that Mr Cullen was one of four men who were involved in plotting, planning and executing the murder.
Sharon Rattigan told the Central Criminal Court she had lived with her partner and two children in Tymon Park North for a year.
She told Mr Alex Owens SC, prosecuting, that she and her partner planned to go out that night and she was going to leave her son at her mother's house.
She said she put her son in the baby seat of the car while Mr O'Byrne was closing the hall door.
Ms Rattigan told the court she saw a man coming up the garden in dark clothes pulling up his hood and said she saw a gun in his right hand.
"He turned at Seamus and started shooting his gun," she said. "When I ran at him he shot me in the leg then I grabbed him because I thought he was going to shoot me again," she said.
Ms Rattigan said she grabbed the gun, they struggled and fell over the garden wall.
The mother-of-two said he kept hitting her over the head with the gun and he was saying: "Give me the gun ya bitch."
Ms Rattigan said as soon as she got the gun she threw it in the front seat of her car and then the man ran off. Ms Rattigan said she tried to help Mr O' Byrne who was lying on the ground.
She was then taken to hospital by ambulance but did not know her partner was dead.
Next door neighbour Elizabeth Cafolla told the court she saw Ms Rattigan in the driveway of her neighbour's house.
Ms Cafolla said Ms Rattigan was screaming that she and Mr O'Byrne had been shot.
She said she saw Mr O'Byrne lying on the ground making gurgling sounds and she tried to assist him.
In his opening speech, Mr Owens told the court that Mr O'Byrne was killed by four or five pistol shots at 8.15pm as he was leaving his house.
He said the prosecution's case was not that Mr Cullen was the gunman. A man from Bray, Garret O'Brien, who has since been convicted, was brought in to do that job.
His alleged role was as a lookout in a nearby getaway car that left the scene when things went wrong, the court was told.
The trial continues before Mr Justice Barry White and a jury of five men and seven women.