Cork man accused of murder denies 'playing games' with gardaí over homeless man's death

Cork man accused of murder denies 'playing games' with gardaí over homeless man's death
David O'Loughlin

The 32-year-old man accused of murdering a 59-year-old homeless man whose body was found in a rubbish chute denied he was "playing games" with gardaí.

Detective Garda Padraig Harrington testified on the eighth day of the murder trial at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork that the accused man, David O’Loughlin, said in an interview a week after the deceased was found: “I am putting the pieces of the jigsaw together.”

Det Garda Harrington put it to the accused: “Liam Manley was found dead in a bin chute outside your apartment. How did he get in the bin chute… You are trying to play games.”

Mr O’Loughlin replied: “I am not playing games.”

The detective said: “We have to be able to give the family some answers.”

The accused replied: “I see that. There will be answers but not on your terms. Even if I told you what the argument was about the media would not have it until after the trial.”

The detective asked him to explain how a (then) 26-year-old man and a man of 59 years end up in an apartment together?

The accused replied: “Being drunk and being an idiot.” The detective asked: “You or him?” Mr O’Loughlin replied, “Both.”

David O’Loughlin of Garden City Apartments, North Main Street, Cork, denies murdering Liam Manley, 59, at Garden City Apartments on May 12, 2013.

Det Garda Harrington first encountered him when he and Garda Brian Maher were directed to make door to door enquiries in the apartment complex.

At 8.10pm on May 13, 2013, they called to the door of apartment 10 where David O’Loughlin lived.

When he answered, the gardaí said they were investigating an incident and asked him had he been at home. He said he had been at home all weekend and had not left the apartment complex.

Asked if he had seen anything suspicious he said, no.

Asked what he had done for the weekend he said that he finished work at around 9pm on Friday night and had a small party with three or four people in his apartment. He referred to “a fella called Mahony” and two girls.

“Again I asked him had he been out that weekend. He said he never went out of the apartment complex, that he stayed in all weekend partying,” the detective said.

Prosecution senior counsel, Patrick McGrath, asked if he noticed anything in the apartment when he did that door-to-door call.

“I noticed a small smear of blood just inside the front door,” he said.

Mr McGrath asked: “Did you notice anything about Mr O’Loughlin when you were speaking to him?”

Det Garda Harrington said, “I noticed he had a cut to his right hand by his knuckles. I noted he was sober. He appeared nervous initially. His hands were shaking. As we spoke to him he appeared to gain confidence.”

Victim Liam Manley
Victim Liam Manley

A week later in the Bridwell he attributed knuckle marks to “fighting with Mahony and hitting the wall, he was blaming me for taking money.”

Gardaí put it to him during a later interview that CCTV footage showed him around Cork city centre - and later in the company of the deceased.

Detective Garda Harrington said the defendant replied: "I was probably making up shit to make you go away because I was just after waking up (when questioned at the apartment).

I had been on a bender for two days...when you called I was off-guard. I was impaired from drink and drugs. I was putting the pieces of the jigsaw together.

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