The sister of one of two men found shot dead in a burnt-out car became emotional in court yesterday as she recalled that he would have celebrated his birthday soon afterwards.
Denise Burnett was giving evidence to the Central Criminal Court in the trial of a 35-year-old Dubliner charged with murdering the two men, who the prosecutor described as "small-time criminals".
Jason O'Driscoll, with an address at Richmond Avenue, Fairview, is accused of murdering fellow Dubliners Anthony Burnett (31) and Joseph Redmond (25) on March 7, 2012, in Co Louth.
He has pleaded not guilty to both charges, and the jury will be asked to use circumstan- tial evidence to convict him.
Ms Burnett testified that she and her brother, Anthony, had lived with her four children, her mother and her sister at Croke Villas, Ballybough.
She told barrister Alexander Owens of his interest in cars. Mr Owens asked in what way he had been interested in cars.
"In robbing cars," she replied, explaining that he had been involved in this for a number of years.
Mr Owens then asked her brother's age.
"He was 31 when he died, and it was his birthday on the 15th of March," said Ms Burnett, becoming upset.
She also confirmed that he had received compensation as a result of his experience in Oberstown, and that he had bought an apartment in Turkey.
She said he had received a phone call from Joseph Redmond on the evening he disappeared.
She heard him say that he would be over to him in about five or 10 minutes and to "tell the other fella I'll ring him when I get over".
"He was up and down the stairs," she recalled. "He was all agitated.
"He told me it was none of my business [where he was going], that he was going to sell a car or something, up to Dundalk and Newry."
Referring to their sister, Ms Burnett added: "I said, 'If you get locked up in Maghaberry Prison, don't ring me, ring Bridget'."
The trial continues.