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'Victim's girlfriend did not scratch me'

A 34-YEAR-OLD Wicklow man accused of murder has denied the victim's girlfriend had inflicted arm and facial scratches when she tackled him afterwards.

Garrett O'Brien, of Clover Hill, Bray, denies murdering Dublin father-of-two Seamus O'Byrne on March 13, 2009.

A man wearing a hooded tracksuit shot the 27-year-old five times in front of his girlfriend and baby son in the driveway of their home at Tymon Park North, Tallaght.

He has also pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life on the same occasion.

The court has already heard that Mr O'Byrne's girlfriend, Sharon Rattigan, was shot in the leg as she shouted at his killer to stop. She then tackled the gunman and managed to disarm him.


Detective Garda David Jennings told the trial that he interviewed O'Brien on March 18, 2009, the day after his arrest.

He said O'Brien was asked how he had got a scratch on his forehead.

"From shaving," he replied. "My mother doesn't like my eyebrows meeting."

He was then asked where he got a scratch he had on his arm.

"Do either of yous recall where you get your scrapes and scratches?" he replied. It was then suggested to him that he'd received them from the woman who had pulled the gun off him.

"You can think what you like because I don't have a gun," he replied.

"Yes, because we have the gun," said a garda. "You also shot that brave young girl who fought you off." O'Brien described this as ridiculous.

He was asked if he would enter an identification parade and he said he would after speaking to his solicitor.

He had first denied leaving Bray that night, insisting he was in his sister's house.

However he was later told there was footage of him filling petrol in Rathmines that night and was shown stills of a man in the petrol station.

"That's me, yeah," he said.

The trial continues.