Murder accused admitted crime to me

John Hannigan: Has pleaded not guilty.

A former glassblower has told a murder trial that the accused informed him that he had committed the crime hours after the killing.

William O’Riordan, aged 39, was giving evidence yesterday on the opening day of the trial of a 46-year-old Tipperary man charged with murder.

John Hannigan, of River House, New Quay, Clonmel, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Anthony Fallon, aged 46, in the town on January 18, 2012.

He has also pleaded not guilty to assault causing harm to Mr Fallon on the same date at a flat on Abbey St, Clonmel.

Mr O’Riordan told the Central Criminal Court that he was walking through the town that morning when he heard there had been an incident on the quayside.

“I was concerned that my brother was down there,” he told the court, referring to Joseph O’Riordan, who has since been sentenced for assaulting Mr Fallon.

The witness said he walked to the scene and spoke to a garda. “I asked was that my brother in there. The guard said no,” he recalled.

William O’Riordan said he bumped into his brother and the accused a few hours later and bought them three whiskeys in a pub.

“John went to the toilet. I quizzed my brother over the incident. I basically said, ‘Have you any input into what happened to Mr Fallon?’

“He said, ‘No. I’ve nothing to do with it. Why are you asking me?’

William O’Riordan said he asked the same question of Mr Hannigan when his brother went to the toilet.

“He said he done it and my brother had nothing to do with it, that he killed Mr Fallon,” Mr O’Riordan testified.

“I told him to ring his family or get in touch with the guards and I took my brother away.”

Under cross-examination by Diarmaid McGuinness, Mr O’Riordan said he later learned that his brother had assaulted the deceased, but never heard that he had battered him over the head with a kettle.

He said he was in court the day Joseph O’Riordan pleaded guilty and said his family had been “broken up over it”.

The trial continues.


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