Woman shot in neck gives evidence: ‘I felt my throat was getting all tight, my face was burning’

Ciara Sheehan gave evidence in court yesterday.

A woman has described being shot in the neck as a Cork man went on trial on charges arising out a shot being fired through the front room window of a house in Cork City.

Ciara Sheehan, the injured party, testified: “We were talking in the front room. I was standing in front of the window. I heard a loud bang. We ran towards the kitchen. I felt my throat was getting all tight, my face was burning. I touched my neck, there was blood on my hands. That is when I realised I got shot in the neck.

“Dylan [Ms Sheehan’s boyfriend] brought me to his mam’s car in the back and we drove to the CUH. I had surgery twice, the bullet was still stuck in my neck. I was five or six days in hospital.”

Gavin Sheehan, aged 30, of 7 Laurel Ridge, Shanakiel, Cork, has pleaded not guilty to charges against him arising out of the incident.

Opening the case to a jury of seven women and five men, Donal O’Sullivan, prosecuting, said they would hear things by way of background to the case such as someone being punched and windows being broken but that these were not the subject of charges.

He said there were two neighbouring estates on the northern side of Cork city between Blarney Rd and Harbour View Rd, namely Laurel Ridge and Hollywood estate, and that there was a dispute going on between Mr Sheehan and members of the Cunningham family, of 37 Hollywood estate.

On Saturday, May 14, Dylan Cunningham was in Dino’s chipper in Blackpool with his girlfriend, Ciara Sheehan, when Mr Sheehan came in and there was a punch thrown. Ms Sheehan said Mr Sheehan asked Mr Cunningham for his phone number in the chipper, punched him once, and then walked out.

Mr O’Sullivan said that, at around midnight, there was a series of events including the smashing of windows at 37 Hollywood estate and 7 Laurel Ridge.

“A shot is fired at 37 Hollywood estate,” Mr O’Sullivan said. “The curtains are closed, the lights are on. Ciara Sheehan ended up being shot in her neck. She had to be operated upon and a bullet removed from her neck.

“The prosecution says the person who fired the shot in the window is Gavin Sheehan and by doing so he assaulted Ciara Sheehan causing her serious harm.”

Mr O’Sullivan said the evidence against the accused would be circumstantial evidence such as CCTV, including CCTV from the defendant’s own home. On the basis of a number of video cameras, Mr O’Sullivan said: “Gavin Sheehan left his home, fired a shot through a window, left the scene and came back to his home from a different direction. That fundamentally is the State’s case.”

Gavin Sheehan, of Laurel Ridge, Shanakiel, Cork, who has pleaded not guilty to charges against him.
Gavin Sheehan, of Laurel Ridge, Shanakiel, Cork, who has pleaded not guilty to charges against him.

The first charge states that, at his home at Laurel Ridge on May 15, Mr Sheehan had in his possession a Smith and Wesson 60.96 semi-automatic firearm giving rise to a reasonable inference that he did not have it in his possession for a lawful purpose.

Secondly, he is charged with possession of a single 9 millimetre calibre round of ammunition at Hollywood estate, Blarney Rd, on the same date.

The third charge states that he discharged a firearm, being reckless as to whether any person was injured or not on Sunday, May 15, at Hollywood estate.

The fourth charge is one of assault causing serious harm, where he intentionally or recklessly assaulted Ms Sheehan causing her serious harm.

Mr Sheehan pleaded not guilty to each of those four charges.

In front of the jury panel, he pleaded guilty to two criminal damage charges, where he caused criminal damage to the front windows of 57 Harbour View Rd, and also damaged the windows of this householder’s car.

A jury was empanelled for the trial of Mr Sheehan on the four charges to which he pleaded not guilty.

The trial before Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin and the jury continues on Monday. One of the men on the jury was discharged and the case is continuing before 11 jurors.


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