Then 14-year-old attacked man after ‘slagging match’ at bonfire
A teenager fatally stabbed a 21-year-old at a Halloween bonfire after yelling at him: “You don’t know who my dad is,” a court was told yesterday.
The 16-year-old boy, who cannot be identified due to his age, had originally been charged with Lorcan O’Reilly’s murder and a trial date had been set. However, at an arraignment hearing at the Central Criminal Court yesterday, the accused pleaded not guilty to murder and guilty to Mr O’Reilly’s manslaughter at the Oliver Bond flats in Dublin early on November 1, 2015. His plea was accepted by the prosecution.
The accused was 14 at the time of the killing.
During yesterday’s hearing, the court was told the deceased and the defendant had both attended an organised Halloween bonfire next to the flats in Dublin’s south inner city.
Mr Grehan said the accused and deceased had been involved in a slagging match at about 2.40am and that, at 2.42am, the accused was caught on CCTV in possession of a hurley.
One witness, whose unnamed statement was read in court by Mr Grehan, told gardaí “there was a lot of slagging off going on. He [the accused] was saying who he was and who his dad was.”
Det Paul Insp Cleary agreed with Mr Grehan that the accused had been swinging the hurley towards the deceased while shouting: “You don’t who my dad is… You don’t know who I am.”
Taking the hurley from the boy, Mr O’Reilly was heard saying: “I don’t care. I’m not letting a 14-year-old talk to me like that.”
The accused left the scene but returned minutes later and struck Mr O’Reilly in the chest with a knife.
He ran off but Mr O’Reilly chased after him and the pair clashed again, this time with Mr O’Reilly receiving a second stab wound to below his right eye.
Moments after the second altercation, Mr O’Reilly approached a friend and said: “I’m after being stabbed…” He was taken by car to the emergency department of nearby St James’s Hospital where he later went into a cardiac arrest. Mr O’Reilly never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead at 4.05am.
Mr Grehan told the court an autopsy revealed the fatal blow had been a knife wound to Mr O’Reilly’s chest that had punctured his heart.
The court was also told that although around 23 youths had been present at the Halloween party, gardaí had struggled to gather witness statements and that 19 arrests had been made during the investigation.
When asked by Mr Grehan if gardaí had had concerns about “the safety and w ell-being of witnesses”, Det Insp Cleary replied: “Serious concerns.”
Days after the killing, on November 4, the accused attended Kevin St Garda Station under his own volition with his maternal and paternal grandmothers.
During a subsequent interview with gardaí on that date, Mr Grehan described how one of the grandparents said to her grandson: “Show him the bruises on your arm. When are you going to tell your side of the story? When your solicitor comes?”
The accused was later charged with Mr O’Reilly’s murder on April 1.
During yesterday’s hearing, closed to the public except for close relatives of the accused and deceased, Det Insp Cleary agreed with Mr Grehan that the deceased had been a “popular and well-liked member of the community and people spoke highly of him”.
Sentencing was adjourned until February 6 and the accused was remanded on bail.
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