Fresh trial date to be set in Kanturk manslaughter case

Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

The 27-year-old Kanturk man facing a charge of unlawfully killing a 65-year-old local man by giving him a single punch will face a fresh trial in the case, possibly in October.

The jury, which commenced hearing evidence in the trial on Tuesday, were discharged yesterday. They were notified they were not required to attend Cork Circuit Criminal Court in Cork city yesterday because of the snow.

Medical witnesses from the UK were due to give evidence in the case yesterday on the issue of cause of death and these witnesses will not be available next week.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin adjourned the case until October 23. On a date to be set then, a new jury will be empanelled to hear the case from the beginning.

Finbarr Lehane died in hospital a fortnight after being struck at the Stand Bar in Kanturk after midnight on October 23/24, 2016.

Jonathan O’Sullivan was arraigned in front of a jury on Tuesday on the single charge of unlawful killing. He replied that he was not guilty of manslaughter but guilty of assault.

Imelda Kelly, prosecuting, said it was the kind of case referred to as a one-punch case where the state would say the punch was the cause or one of the important causes of death.

Mr O’Sullivan, from Kanturk, but now living at Birchfield Park, Goatstown, Dublin, told gardaí that the deceased had been “talking Ramesh” into his ear at the counter of the bar.

“I decided to go out the back. I don’t know what happened. I just drew a punch. To ask me to go into finer detail I can’t,” the accused said when interviewed later by Detective Garda Anthony Daly.

In a subsequent interview, he said the deceased was “talking shite”.

“It is not like it was a row. All it was was a punch, that was it. One punch to the face, that was it. I actually thought he was messing on the ground (not getting up),” Mr O’Sullivan said.


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