Witnesses give evidence in Dundalk murder trial

Witnesses in the case of a man on trial for murder, assault and hijacking have described how they saw a man driving a car repeatedly up and down their street, ram it into a parked car and reverse it at speed towards people.

The residents of Mary St in Dundalk town, were giving evidence at the Central Criminal Court in the trial of 23-year-old Angelo O'Riordan, who is pleading not guilty to the murder of Aidan Myers on December 13, 2006.

O'Riordan, of Point Road, Bellurgan in Dundalk, has also denied a charge of assault and another of hijacking a Mitsubishi in Dundalk town, on December 12.

The court has heard that Mr Myers (aged 37), was a passenger in a car that was allegedly rammed by another vehicle near St Brigid's shrine in Faughart, outside Dundalk town.

It is the prosecution's case that he was pulled from the car and assaulted with a machete, and as he lay wounded on the ground, he was run over by another car and dragged underneath it, screaming.

He died around five hours later after suffering a series of heart attacks.

Ms Pauline Walley SC for the prosecution, is arguing that O'Riordan was acting in concert with a number of men that night, and they were involved in a common design when they allegedly attacked Mr Myers.

She says O'Riordan was also involved with these men, in the assault in Dundalk town which left a man requiring 45 stitches to his arm after being struck with some type of implement.

Ms Walley also argues he was involved in a hijacking in the town, and said all of the events were characterised by their randomness and violence.

She said the alleged assault on Mr Myers was a “random attack of gratuitous and extreme violence.”

In his evidence to the court, Jason Duffy, a resident of Mary St in Dundalk, said he heard commotion outside his house on the evening of December 12, 2006.

When he went to investigate, he saw a young couple from across the road chasing after their white Mazda, which was being driven away.

Mr Duffy armed himself with a baseball bat and when he returned to the street he saw the car reversing towards the couple, who ran into their house.

He said the car drove on and rammed into his own car which was parked on the street. Mr Duffy gave chase and struck the boot of the car with his bat.

Then he said the car was put into reverse and came at speed towards him, mounting the kerb.

“ I had to jump for my life...it just skimmed me” he said.

The witness described the driver as being in his early 20s with tight-cut hair and a prominent nose. He said the driver spoke with a local accent and told him to “get back into the f***ing house.”

Another witness who lived on the street, Colin McQuinness, also saw the white Mazda reversing up and down the road. A few minutes later received a call from his girlfriend, Yvonne McCabe, who had been on her way to visit him.

Ms McCabe told the court she had just turned onto the street when a white car came towards her at speed with its full lights on. She said even though it had room to pass her, it rammed into the side of the car, damaging the bonnet and the driver's door.

The car then went on before stopping in the middle of the road, and she saw the driver run off.

The trial resumes in the morning before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy.

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