Accused: I just wanted to frighten him

Donal Colgan claims that he was attacked first.

A man accused of stabbing another man four times during a row outside a chip shop said he only wanted to frighten the deceased who, he claims, attacked him first.

Donal Colgan, aged 65, of Killarney Court, Killarney St, Dublin 1, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of David Sheridan, aged 45, outside Luigi’s chip shop on the capital’s North Strand Rd on August 17, 2014.

At the Central Criminal Court yesterday, the accused told Patrick Marrinan, defending, that he “lost it” after being attacked by Mr Sheridan and another man, Gary Kinlan.

He said that on August 17, 2014, he was on his way home after drinking about 10 pints of cider in the Sunset House when he decided to go to Luigi’s for a bag of chips.

Inside, he said, there were “angry words” between some of the younger customers and he told one of them to go home because he had drunk too much. He said Mr Sheridan, who was with Mr Kinlan, said something so he turned and said: “Leave it out you lads, there is after being enough trouble today.”

He said he thought that was the end of it but as he walked out of the shop, Mr Kinlan said to him: “Who are you looking at?” He replied: “What’s your problem?” or “What’s up with you?”

Mr Colgan said Mr Kinlan then punched him five or six times in the face before Mr Sheridan emerged from the chip shop and kicked him several times. He said he fell when Mr Kinlan hit him with a bag of cans. When Mr Colgan got away he said he was “raging”. “I lost everything and I felt humiliated.”

He went home, and when he got home he looked for a weapon. “If there had been a hurley stick there I would have picked it up,” he said.

Instead, he saw a knife and picked that up.

He told Mr Marrinan he wanted to send a message that “you won’t do this to me. I live here and I have to walk these streets.” He said he wanted to frighten them.

As he approached the chip shop he said he began to calm and asked himself “what am I doing?” But when he arrived at Luigi’s he said Mr Sheridan attacked him and he hit out with the knife.

“I don’t remember much of what happened after that,” he said.

He agreed that he returned home, went to bed and got up at 6am. He heard about the stabbing on the 1pm news and that evening went back to the Sunset House, where people were talking about it.

“I did not think I was after doing much damage,” he said, but as the day went on “slowly it came back to me about the fight and the argument at Luigi’s”.

He was arrested the following morning on his way to work. He said he is “disgusted” with what happened.

“That was never my intention to do that,” he said, adding that he has thought of the stabbing every day.

Speaking to Paul Burns, prosecuting, he agreed that he had lied to gardaí when they arrested him, telling them he had nothing to do with the stabbing and that he had not gone to Luigi’s.

He also agreed CCTV footage from inside Luigi’s appeared to show Mr Sheridan backing away moments before the knife attack.

Mr Burns said the accused is seen following Mr Sheridan, chasing him around a car parked in front of the chipper. Mr Colgan replied: “It looks like that.”

The trial continues.


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