Woman tells court she heard 'weird noises' and two gunshots on night of murder

A woman has described hearing two gunshots on the afternoon a dissident republican was shot dead outside a pub across the road from her house.

Peter Butterly (aged 35) was shot dead outside The Huntsman Inn, Gormanston, Co Meath on March 6, 2013.

Two Dublin men are on trial at the Special Criminal Court, charged with his murder.

Edward McGrath (aged 35), of Land Dale Lawns, Springfield, Tallaght and Sharif Kelly (aged 46), of Pinewood Green Road, Balbriggan have both pleaded not guilty to the alleged murder.

Mr McGrath has also pleaded not guilty to firearms offences on the same occasion.

A third accused, Dean Evans (aged 24), of Grange Park Rise, Raheny, Dublin, failed to turn up for the trial, and has not been located by the gardaí. The non-jury court decided to proceed with his two co-accused in Mr Evans’s absence.

Today, Adriana Skorus told Alex Owens SC, prosecuting, that at the time of the shooting she was living opposite the Huntsman Inn.

The court heard that she was in her living-room, talking with a friend on Skype, when she heard "weird noises".

"I knew after that it was two gunshots," she said.

Ms Skorus said that she looked out the window and saw a man standing in the Huntsman's carpark.

The court heard that the man was holding a small black handgun and facing in the direction of Balbriggan.

There was a car behind the man, either cream- or silver-coloured, Ms Skorus told Mr Owens.

She said that after a few seconds, the man sat in the back of the car, which drove out of the carpark.

A few minutes later Ms Skorus went outside and saw another car going into the carpark, the court heard.

She said that a man got out of the car and went to the corner of the carpark. He was looking a the ground, she said.

Earlier, the court rejected an application by defence counsels to rule out the evidence of the accused men's arrest.

The barristers had argued last week that their detention were unlawful.

It is the second trial of Mr McGrath and Mr Kelly. The original trial collapsed after 55 days in January, 2015, and a retrial was ordered.

The trial continues before the non-jury court, with Mr Justice Tony Hunt presiding.


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