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Murder accused 'was a sap not a mastermind', gran death trial told


Patricia O’Connor died in 2017

Patricia O’Connor died in 2017

Patricia O’Connor died in 2017

Murder accused Kieran Greene was not a "mastermind" but a "sap" who took it on himself to be a martyr over the gruesome death of his partner's mother, Patricia O'Connor, his defence lawyer has told a jury.

Conor Devally SC said Mr Greene told a "pack of lies" when he made a "so-called confession" to killing Ms O'Connor and the prosecution "cherry-picked" it to charge him with murder.

Delivering his closing speech at the Central Criminal Court, Mr Devally said a later statement Mr Greene made when he retracted the admission was "full of truth".

He said the case against his client "doesn't add up" and asked the jury to acquit him.

Four people are on trial charged over the death of grandmother-of-seven Patricia O'Connor (61) in 2017.



Keith Johnston, Louise O’Connor and Stephanie O’Connor outside court

Keith Johnston, Louise O’Connor and Stephanie O’Connor outside court

Keith Johnston, Louise O’Connor and Stephanie O’Connor outside court

Mr Greene (35) is accused of murder, while Patricia's daughter and granddaughter Louise (41) and Stephanie O'Connor (22), as well as Keith Johnston (43), are charged with impeding his prosecution.

They have all pleaded not guilty.

Patricia's husband, Gus O'Connor, has pleaded guilty to falsely reporting her missing when he knew she was dead.

Ms O'Connor was allegedly murdered on May 29, 2017, at the house at Mountain View Park, Rathfarnham, she shared with family including Gus, Louise, Stephanie and Mr Greene.

Mr Greene was Louise's partner at the time, while Mr Johnston, Stephanie's father, was Louise's ex-boyfriend.

Patricia's dismembered remains were found scattered in the Wicklow mountains between June 10 and 14, 2017.

The jury has heard Mr Greene handed himself in on June 12 and told gardai he killed Patricia with a hurley in self-defence in a row in the bathroom.

On December 9, he gave a new account claiming it was Gus who had killed Patricia by intervening in the struggle and hitting her with a metal bar.

Mr Devally said there was an "awful lot" in the June account that must be false if the prosecution is right, he said, yet the jury was asked to treat it as a "full confession of murder", to "rely on it where it suits" and reject as lies anything contradictory.

Mr Greene had been portrayed as a "moron" and "fool".

"Maybe he's a bit of a donkey, a beast of burden for the house," Mr Devally said.

His state of mind in June was to ensure nobody else was implicated. Mr Greene went to gardai in June "well-primed by others", he said.

In the December interview, Mr Greene gave the "proper story," Mr Devally suggested.

He "took all this on" so that his children would have a home, mother and grandfather but in December his "martyrdom" no longer had any purpose because he knew that the others had been arrested, Mr Devally said.

Only Mr Johnston was re-arrested on foot of information in the December interview.

Mr Devally asked the jury to consider that it was reasonably possible that Mr Greene did not kill Patricia because "everything he said he did in June, nearly all of it is lies", while "much of what he says in December is shown to be true".

Earlier, prosecutor Roisin Lacey SC concluded her closing speech, focusing on the other three co-accused.


She argued Stephanie O'Connor dressed up as Patricia after she was dead in a "charade" to create an "indelible" CCTV record and an illusion she was still alive.

Ms Lacey said the aim was to "bolster" statements that Patricia was "alive and well" to anyone looking for her, while Louise was an "integral part of the ruse" and acted in support of her daughter.

She said there was ample evidence for the jury to find them guilty based on CCTV evidence and what they said in interview.

She said the denial of Keith Johnston, who is accused of helping Mr Greene to buy tools that were later used to dismember Patricia's body, was "unbelievable to its core".

In garda interview, Ms Lacey said, he was "silent as a tomb" about purchases made at DIY shops on June 9, the day before the first body parts were found.

The trial continues before a jury and Mr Justice Paul McDermott.