The mother of a Dublin man accused of a double murder told him she’d rather have a son who was murdered than a rat, his Central Criminal Court trial has heard.
Gary Howard (aged 24) of Emerald Street in the inner city has pleaded not guilty to murdering Patrick Mooney (aged 58) and Brendan Molyneux (aged 46) on January 10, 2010.
The two friends were found shot dead in Mr Mooney’s flat at Pearse House, Hanover Street, Dublin that Sunday evening.
Gary Howard was arrested that night and detained at Kevin Street Garda Station for five days.
Garda Dan McGinty gave evidence today that he supervised Mr Howard’s visit with his mother, Celine Howard, at the station on the afternoon of January 14.
He said that both Mr Howard and his mother were cautioned that the visit was being supervised and that notes taken could be used in evidence.
“Should I say anything?” Mr Howard asked his mother, according to the garda.
“All I want to say is I’d rather have a son that’s murdered than a rat,” replied Ms Howard, according to Gda McGinty.
“I feel like saying: ‘Yeah it was me’, that I should just admit to it because they have me stitched up,” continued the accused, according to the garda.
Gda McGinty said that the defendant then asked his mother if her brother was saying anything, to which she replied that her ‘brothers will look after it’.
He said that Mr Howard later told his mother that he had made a statement so he could see her.
The jury also heard today that Mr Howard tried to take his own life while in custody.
Sergeant Brian Sourke testified that he checked Mr Howard in his cell on the evening of January 13, shortly after a visit from his mother and grandmother.
“I noticed he was not moving and had a string around his neck,” he said.
He explained that he cut what transpired to be a lace and called for an ambulance.
“The prisoner said he wanted to kill himself,” he recalled. “His clothing was taken and he was given a white suit.”
He said that a garda stayed with him until he had a consultation with a doctor, who said he should be placed on suicide watch.
The trial has already heard that Mr Howard initially denied having carried out the killings. He then admitted being the gunman, before finally retracting his earlier admission.
He told gardaí that his confession had been “all lies” and that he had said what gardaí wanted him to say.
The trial continues before Mr Justice Paul Carney and a jury of six women and five men. A sixth man was discharged as a juror today due to illness.