Man begins appeal against murder conviction

A Belfast man who was jailed for life by a Dublin court last year for the murder of a taxi driver in the city today opened his appeal against his conviction and sentence.

The Court of Criminal Appeal in Dublin heard arguments from defence and prosecution counsel.

Gerard Mackin became the first person to be convicted by a Dublin court for a murder carried out in the North when he was convicted by the Special Criminal Court in November 2009.

Mackin was jailed for life after he was found guilty of the murder of Belfast taxi driver Eddie Burns in the city last year.

It was the first time that anyone has been convicted in a Dublin court for a murder committed in the North under a cross border anti-terrorist law introduced in 1976.

Gerard Mackin was found guilty of the murder of Mr Edward Burns, a 36-year-old father-of-five, of Prospect Park, Belfast, at Bog Meadow, Falls Road, Belfast on March 12 last year.

He was also convicted of the attempted murder of Mr Damien O' Neill (aged 25), the possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and causing serious harm to Mr O' Neill on the same date.

He was jailed for 15 years for the attempted murder of Mr O’ Neill, 10 years for the possession of a revolver with intent to endanger life and 12 years for intentionally causing serious harm to Mr O’ Neill. The court ordered all the sentences to run concurrently.

The court heard during the trial that Mr O' Neill still has a bullet in his neck as a result of being shot and wounded by Mackin.

Mackin (aged 26), a native of the Whiterock area of west Belfast, with an address at Raheen Close, Tallaght, Dublin, opted for trial in the Republic under the Criminal Law Jurisdiction Act of 1976 which allows suspects to be tried in the Republic for alleged offences in Britain or the North.

During the 10-day trial the three judge non jury court heard evidence over two days at Belfast Crown Court from a number of witnesses who were reluctant to travel to Dublin, including the main prosecution witness, Mr Damien O' Neill, who was himself shot twice during the incident but survived.

It was the first time the judges of the Special Criminal Court sat in Belfast to hear evidence.

The Court of Criminal Appeal is expected to reserve its judgment in the appeal.


More in this Section

'The show must go on' - Shane Ross returns to canvassing after suffering hand injury'The show must go on' - Shane Ross returns to canvassing after suffering hand injury

The Lotto results are in...The Lotto results are in...

Man (35) charged following alleged stabbing in the NorthMan (35) charged following alleged stabbing in the North

Seamus Mallon funeral details announcedSeamus Mallon funeral details announced


Lifestyle

Esther N McCarthy paints a pretty picture with her January picks, along with cool ideas for fridges and lunchboxesWishlist: Fridges and lunchboxes make our list of January picks

Maturity isn’t a good fit for every rapper (see: Kanye’s bedraggled coming-to-Jesus phase). But through 2018 it was working a treat for former bad boy — and Ariana Grande’s ex — Mac Miller. But then his story turned to tragedy as that September, the 26 year-old died of an accidental drug overdose.Review: Mac Miller - Circles

The year is 2399, and Jean-Luc Picard dreams of his old ship, destroyed three decades ago, and his dear friend, the android Data, dead 20 years now. Dreams turn to nightmare, and Picard awakens, old and defeated, in his French château.Review: Star Trek: Picard

A Polish prisoner carefully checks there are no guards around before he enters one of the SS cloakrooms in Auschwitz. He takes out a hidden vial and quickly sprinkles its contents on the collars of those hated uniforms, before slipping out again. Within two weeks some of the Germans had come down with the typhoid that was wiping out so many of the prisoners.Gripping account of the hero who volunteered to go to Auschwitz

More From The Irish Examiner