Witness denies being present at scene of alleged murder

The central witness and friend of a man on trial for murder has denied that he himself was present at the alleged murder scene, and that he fabricated a story for the Gardaí to get himself out of trouble.

In his second day of evidence at the Central Criminal Court, 23-year-old Daniel Mulholland said that Angelo O'Riordan confessed to him that he was out hijacking cars, when he knocked down a man in December 2006.

But during his cross-examination of the witness, O'Riordan's defence lawyer Mr Padraig Dwyer SC, said that Mr Mulholland only told gardaí this story after they had accused him of involvement in the alleged murder, and said he was at risk of being charged.

“You're effectively avoiding responsibility for your involvement in this and trying to shift it to someone else” Mr Dwyer said. “You are a person who tells lies when it suits you.”

In the course of his evidence, Mr Mulholland described how O'Riordan rang him on the morning of December 13, 2006 and asked him to meet up.

He said his friend was pale and physically shaky when he told him that he had been out hijacking cars when “something went wrong” and he knocked down a man.

He said O'Riordan described how the man's car was rammed at Faughart, outside Dundalk town, there was a scuffle and he “ended up driving over him.”

O'Riordan said he could hear the man screaming, but he just kept going, according to Mr Mulholland.

He also said O'Riordan told him that his brother, Michael O'Riordan, had given the man's companion a “rap” with a machete.

But when Mr Mulholland was shown mobile phone records dating from December 13, 2006, he admitted that they showed no call between O'Riordan's phone and his that morning.

The witness also denied under cross-examination he was present at the scene in another car, and said that he had spent the night with O'Riordan's brother, Daniel.

O'Riordan's defence lawyer, Mr Dwyer, put it to him that mobile phone records placed Daniel O'Riordan's mobile in Faughart that night. The records also showed that a number of calls were made from Daniel's phone to Mr Mulholland.

The witness admitted that he was arrested by Gardaí in 2007 on suspicion of having information about the alleged murder. He also admitted that they found a firearm, a baseball bat and a sword in his home.

He told the court that he only had the weapons to “be cool”.

The accused, O'Riordan (aged 23), has denied murdering 37 year old Aidan Myers in Faughart, outside Dundalk town, on December 13, 2006.

He has also pleaded not guilty to hijacking a Mitsubishi space-wagon, and assaulting a man in Dundalk on December 12.

It's the prosecution's case that O'Riordan was involved in a common design with a number of other men when he allegedly hijacked the Mitsubishi and attacked a man on the night of December 12.

The prosecution also argues that he was part of a common design when he allegedly hijacked Mr Myers around 20 minutes later, attacked him and his friend with a machete, and then caused a car to run over Mr Myers.

It says that all of the events were characterised by “randomness and violence”.

Mr Muolland's evidence will continue with the case resumes on Monday morning before the jury of six men and six women.

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