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Woman shot dead as baby slept in next room

A YOUNG woman was shot dead as a baby slept in the next room, a double murder trial in Limerick has heard.

Cousins Patrick O'Brien (31) and Thomas Stewart (28) have both pleaded not guilty to the murders of Desmond Kelly (23) and Breda Waters (28) on January 9, 2011 in Limerick.

The court heard that the prosecution's case is at around 9am on January 9, the two accused came into Mr Kelly's home in O'Malley Park, Limericlk and shot him in the head.

Theresa Kelly, a sister of the dead man, was in an upstairs bedroom minding Mr Kelly's five-month-old daughter, while Breda Waters was in a front upstairs bedroom.

It is alleged the two accused then went upstairs and shot Ms Waters in the neck.

Brendan Grehan, prosecuting, said the jury will hear evidence that Mr Kelly had been drinking in his home on the night before the shootings, along with Breda Waters, her sister Martina and Mattie Quinn. Mr Quinn and Martina left the house at around 2.30am and stayed in Mr Quinn's uncle's house.

Mr Grehan said the jury will view CCTV footage which shows the movements of the two accused on the night prior to the shootings and on the morning of the shootings.

A next door neighbour of Desmond Kelly gave evidence that she was awoken from her sleep by two "loud bangs" at around 9am.

Brenda O'Connor said she went back to sleep and around 11am was woken by Theresa Kelly knocking on her door.



blood

"She wanted me to get an ambulance so I gave my phone to my son Michael to call," said Mrs O'Connor.

She said she went into the home of Desmond Kelly and saw him lying on the ground in the kitchen and there "was a lot of blood around him."

She said she was "in shock" but went upstairs and found Ms Waters lying on a bed who "looked dead" with injuries to her face and neck.

"I also saw a gun cartridge on the stairs," said Mrs O'Connor.

An aunt of Mr Kelly told the court that her niece Theresa Kelly arrived at her home at around 10.30am and she then ran to Mr Kelly's house.

"The front door was open and the kitchen door open and I saw Desmond lying down near the back door.

"He was wearing a navy dressing gown and there was a pool of blood around him," said Joan Barrett.

"I was calling his name and rubbing his leg when Desmond's brother Jonathan came in, screaming and he started to try and lift Desmond up," said Ms Barrett.

She said when she was walking out of the house she collapsed and gardai brought her into the sitting room where she saw the baby's car seat.

"It dawned on me then -- where was the child?" she said.

"It was then Mrs O'Connor, the next door neighbour, who told me she had taken the baby from the house and was minding her."

O'Brien, of Glanntan, Golflinks Road, Castletroy, Limerick, and Stewart, of The Cedar, Briarfield, Castletroy, Limerick, both deny murder and the trial continues.

hnews@herald.ie


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