O'Donoghue trial transcript: Day 4: 'I was not calm. I did not flip the lid. I was annoyed'

YESTERDAY afternoon the jury was played a tape of Wayne O'Donoghue being interviewed on January 17 at Midleton Garda Station.

During the interview Det Sgt Brian Goulding and Det Gda Sean O'Brien quizzed Wayne about the events of January 4 with each asking different questions.

Q: Now Wayne you made a number of statements to date, haven't you?

A: Yes.

Q: Most of them have been a lot of horseshite I suppose, would you agree with that?

A: Except the one I made yesterday (January 16).

Q: There are certain things in the one that you made yesterday that we are not happy with.

A: Okay.

Q: What age are you? Born in 1984 and you will be 21 in October.

A: Yes.

Q: What age was Robert Holohan? 11?

A: Yeah.

Q: And you were very pally with him?

A: Yeah, very good friends I would say.

Q: Is that not a bit unusual?

A: It probably would be if you were living in an area like where you have your own age groups, but we are living in the country. The way I have always seen it, like, you have different age groups, from my age at the eldest right down to as young as Robert's younger sister. Often she would play with us sometimes as well like.

Q: Right, but you have a car, haven't you?

A: I do.

Q: It is not a case of being restricted to your local area?

A: No.

Q: As such you can travel?

A: No. I have only the car for, I'd say, approximately 10 months now so I had good relationships built up with my neighbours and Robert a good five years before I even got the car and that relationship was sustained always throughout when I had the car. The car was kind of like a novelty to the - this might sound stupid - a novelty to our area because I was one of the oldest there and I was obviously the first to get a car and I would take them for spins and down to McDonald's and stuff like as I would do for Robert, as I would do for Heather (Robert's friend) as I would do for any of my other neighbours.

Q: Have you a girlfriend?

A: I do indeed. [He then tells them he has been going out with 18-year-old Rebecca Dennehy for nine months. He says he has had relationships before, long and short term. The interview turns to a speech on abortion that Wayne was writing for college.]

Q: Right, back to the afternoon of January 4 when Robert called to the house the second time.

A: Yes.

Q: Tell us what happened?

A: Well, I was in my room.

Q: Bedroom?

A: Yes. (I was) looking over my speech on abortion.

Q: What time was this?

A: It was roughly 3.15pm. And the door knocked.

Q: Yeah?

A: It was Robert Holohan. I opened the door.

Q: Yeah?

A: He came in. He... walked freely in and went in the kitchen like he would normally do if my parents weren't there.

Q: Yeah?

A: He started rooting through the fridge and cupboards nearby. [Wayne said he told Robert: "Jesus, Robert, would you ever go away like? I'm trying to get this (speech) done."]

Q: And you asked him to go away?

A: Yeah and he was like yeah yeah and he was after leaving on the way out and he was saying again like "Will you bring me to McDonald's?" He had asked that before and I had said no and then I followed him out like. [Wayne then said Robert asked again to be taken to McDonald's.]

A: I don't know was he pissed off because I wouldn't bring him down town or whatever, but he started flicking stones at the car - not vigorously but flicking them at the car.

Q: Okay?

A: And then I told him like and I went over and gave him a nudge and said go away. He was kind of annoying me.

Q: You pushed him?

A: I didn't push him. [Wayne then demonstrates a nudge, saying: "On the bike now and go away."]

Q: But sure that's a push?

A: Okay, well, a push. [Wayne says he turned away and felt pebbles hit his head and heard them hit his car.]

Q: Right?

A: Then I turned around, kind of got him, not really I suppose the best term is a headlock, dragged him away from his bike.

Q: You grabbed him in a headlock?

A: Well, I was trying you know, yeah the best term is that, I was kind of.

Q: With your right or left arm?

A: My right arm about his...

Q: Neck, yeah?

A: Yeah, he wasn't going flying or anything but I did drag him away from the bike and the bike did fall. [Wayne revealed he was annoyed with Robert and was asked to expand.]

A: I was, to be honest, a bit annoyed at this stage.

Q: A bit annoyed, is it?

A: To be honest I wasn't calm. I was annoyed then I grabbed him with my left hand around his neck.

Q: You actually grabbed him to throttle him like as such, you put your hand physically around his neck and you... he was out the headlock at this stage, was he? [Wayne says yes and then tells gardaí how he dragged Robert and had him against the car.]

Q: So you had him pinned up against the car by the throat?

A: Yeah, yeah, but there was never any intent. It was probably a bit vicious but there was no intent when I was doing that.

Q: But you grabbed him in a headlock first and you swung him around.

A: Well you know in a headlock position like.

Q: And you swung him around?

A: Yeah.

Q: And you put him up against the car and you grabbed him?

A: No. He wasn't near enough to the car and I grabbed him and he was then...

Q: You grabbed him where?

A: Around his neck.

Q: Around his throat?

A: Yeah, like, there was never any intent.

Q: Never any intent to do what?

A: Obviously to do what happened like, you know obviously, he's dead like. There was no intent to harm him like, dunno like, Christ like.

Q: You didn't intend to harm him?

A: No.

Q: You got him in a headlock and you grabbed him by the throat?

A: Yeah.

Q: And are you suggesting to me you had no intention of harming him?

A: There was no intent. There was no malicious or vicious intent there at all.

Q: He was only 11, you grabbed him in a headlock with your arm first, right?

A: OK. Yeah.

Q: You had him by the throat. How can you say there was no malicious intent?

A: There was no malicious intent. There was no intent. There was no intent there, you know. It is hard to describe it.

Q: Wayne, isn't it true you flipped the lid?

A: Me.

Q: Yeah, you flipped the lid and what happened?

A: No, no I did not flip the lid.

Q: You were calm?

A: I wasn't calm. As I said I was annoyed. There is a difference. I was not calm. I did not flip the lid. I was annoyed. And never once in my head did any intent come in.

Q: Any intent to do? You keep on about this intent?

A: To harm the boy.

Q: To harm him?

A: To harm him, never.

Q: But sure you weren't thinking straight when it happened?

A: I was annoyed. I did not flip the lid. I was not calm. I was annoyed. We have clarified that already. I was annoyed.

Q: What happened then?

A: I'd held him I suppose firmly you could say, firmly and it was like...

Q: You were squeezing with your left hand?

A: You might say this is stupid now but I can't really remember the length I was there like. I was just like just f**king stop throwing the stones, you know like f**king stop like you know.

Q: Doesn't it take us right to the point that you weren't thinking straight if you can't remember?

A: Well, I can't remember the period. I didn't time what I was doing. I can't remember how long.

Q: Come here, you caught him?

A: Yes.

Q: Pinned him up against the car, like it wasn't a gentle little, you were squeezing him, weren't you?

A: Well obviously, if what happened, something happened like.

Q: Which was?

A: At the time I didn't think that I was squeezing too hard to be honest. I was just there like (saying) will you just f**king stop with the stones, to be honest I said f**king stop. I don't know how many times I said it.

Q: Right so, from here you caught him by the left hand so?

A: I dunno for how long a period.

Q: Yeah?

A: I removed my hand like and he just sort of slipped, slouched down. He didn't fall on the gravel or anything just slouched around my knees.

Q: What happened then?

A: He slouched down. At first there was no immediate panic you know. [He says he called his name three times before starting to panic.]

A: I panicked. I knew when he wasn't calling back to me there was something wrong so then I brought him into the bathroom... so no one would see it driving past. I thought maybe that if I brought him in and threw some water over him... I didn't know it was serious at that time but I was still panicking. It's hard to describe it, the way I was like, but there was a state of panic.

Q: You threw water over him?

A: I threw water from the sink over him (but) there was... nothing.

Q: How do you mean there was nothing?

A: As I described, lifeless like. When I lifted up his arm it went straight like that you know. I was completely and utterly panicked. It is indescribable the feeling I had, unless you are in that situation, it is hard to describe the feeling... Thinking back I tried to listen ya know for I, no I never did first aid... didn't know what to do. It was just complete panic. People looking at it from the outside are like... you should have rung da police or an ambulance or your parents... It's hard to describe what it was like. To be honest it didn't even come into my mind like oh Jesus I'd better ring the ambulance. It was total shock.

Q: Go on.

A: Then I dunno why but I went out to the kitchen and got a knife. I went back to the bathroom and went in with the intention of cutting my throat like. I went up to the mirror, put the knife like that. I don't know why I didn't. I was probably a coward. I don't know why I couldn't. Basically I'd say I was a coward. I don't know what came over me. I mean I know I have a family that love me. I have a girlfriend who I love. It was probably just as I say a coward or something but I really wanted to do it. It's a hard feeling to describe the situation when I was there but I was going to cut my throat.

Q: But you didn't.

A: I didn't, no.

Q: What did you do then?

A: I stayed there looking at Rob for a while.

Q: How long? Was it seconds?

A: I dunno. It could have been a minute or two. I was just in a daze... just staring. I can't describe what I was thinking. I was just there on the day ya know. I can't describe it but I was just looking. I was in a daze.

Q: And were you not concerned that someone might open the door?

A: At that immediate time when I was looking at Robert I wasn't but then I walked out and I put the knife back and I was like what would I do now. I didn't know what to do. I was going around the place and in total - I don't know exactly what - shock and panic is the best way to describe it.

Q: Right?

A: I was in the kitchen. I was going around the kitchen, I suppose the best expression with my head in the air. I didn't know what I was doing. It was all panic. Everything was done in a panic after that. I know now it was... I even said to them (gardaí) last night everything that happened after that I... that's shocking behaviour... I mean no disrespect, no nothing like ya know... it was just panicking... I even said to them that I... even at one stage what was coming across me was how disrespectful... it was just panic. I mean were ye ever in a situation like that, were you Brian?

Q: Yourself.

A: Yeah. You were, yeah, then you understand that I was in total and utter panic. I just leave it at that I was in panic and there is no point in keep going on about it. [At this point the court adjourned.]

compiled by Paul Kelly.

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