Man tells how ‘gut was falling out’ after fight

A man has described seeing his gut hanging out of his body after a confrontation following his niece’s Junior Certificate result celebrations two years ago.

Man tells how ‘gut was falling out’ after fight

John O’Neill was giving evidence in the trial of a 23-year-old Dublin man charged with injuring him, his sister, niece, and nephew and murdering his brother-in-law.

David Brannock, of St Joseph’s Way, Ballymun, is charged with murdering Jason Flannery, a father of three, causing serious harm to his brother-in-law Mr O’Neill, and assault causing harm to Mr Flannery’s children Jade and Anthony Byrne, and their mother, Claire Byrne.

Mr Brannock has pleaded not guilty to all five offences in the early hours of September 13, 2012, at St Joseph’s Way, Poppintree, Ballymun.

Mr O’Neill testified yesterday that he was in the home of his sister, Claire Byrne, on the evening of September 12. He told the Central Criminal Court the family was celebrating Jade’s Junior Certificate results.

He said David Brannock arrived after midnight, was involved in an argument, and was put out. He said the accused began throwing bottles at the house and shouted: “I’ll be back and yous are all going to get it.”

Twenty minutes later, they heard things smashing off the porch. He said the accused was shouting: “Come on out.”

Mr O’Neill said Jason Flannery and Anthony Byrne went out with a crutch each, and he followed them. By the time he caught up, he found his brother-in-law lying in a pool of blood. “I seen a shadow and got a smack in the throat,” he said, adding that he then saw the accused and fought with him.

“I heard a woman’s voice shouting: ‘He has a knife’,” he said. “I threw him to the ground and myself and Anthony went.

“When I was walking back, I could feel something pulling on my T-shirt,” he said. “I pulled up my t-shirt and noticed that part of my gut was falling out... a golf-ball size.”

As well as the wound to his abdomen, for which he needed major surgery, he had a major laceration to his throat. He had seven stab wounds in total, he said.

The trial continues.

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