Geoghegan sent text moments before shooting

THE girlfriend of Shane Geoghegan heard shots outside their house moments after he texted to say he’d be home in a minute.

Jenna Barry was giving evidence at the Central Criminal Court in the trial of a 24-year-old Dublin man charged with murdering the rugby player.

Barry Doyle, with addresses at Portland Row, Dublin; and Hyde Road, Limerick, pleads not guilty to murdering Mr Geoghegan on November 9, 2008.

Mr Geoghegan was shot dead in a suspected case of mistaken identity close to his home in Clonmore, Kilteragh, Dooradoyle.

Ms Barry said she last saw the 28-year-old Garryowen captain about two hours earlier in a friend’s house a two-minute walk from their home. She left him there and visited his mother before returning home.

“I texted him to see was he coming home just before 1am. He said he was on his way. He’d be home in a minute,” she said yesterday.

“I heard a series of loud bangs. I heard two outside the house,” she said.

“It sounded like fireworks to me. It was around Halloween.”

However when the couple’s two dogs didn’t stop barking and seemed “unusually tense”, she looked out the front door onto the cul-de-sac.

“I saw someone run towards a car,” she recalled, confirming that the engine of this space wagon was running and the sliding door was open. “The wheels were screeching and someone was shouting: ‘Drive’.”

She said she saw a young, hooded man get into the car. She then dialled 999 and reported the incident.

“I texted Shane. I told him: ‘I think there’s been a shooting’,” she said.

A neighbour gave evidence of hearing gunshots and screaming, and seeing a people carrier nearby.

Several witnesses gave evidence of seeing a navy Renault Espace parked outside Ballycummin Village apartments in the week or weeks before the killing.

A ballistics expert from the Garda Technical Bureau identified the three bullets taken from Mr Geoghegan’s body during the post- mortem examination.

“This is a 9mm calibre discharged bullet and lead core from the head,” said Detective Garda Mark Collender, giving similar identifications for the two other bullets recovered.

He located two live rounds of ammunition and eight discharged cartridge cases at the scene.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Paul Carney and is expected to last up to four weeks.

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