Gardai focused on computers and digital media during a search of Graham Dwyer’s home, which also turned up documents showing he had had his pay cut twice in six months.
The Central Criminal Court jury yesterday heard from a number of gardai, who searched the architect’s home and workplace on October 17 and 18, 2013, a month after the discovery of Elaine O’Hara’s remains.
Mr Dwyer, aged 42, is charged with Ms O’Hara’s murder in the Dublin Mountains at Killakee, Rathfarnham on August 22, 2012, hours after she was discharged from a mental health hospital. The Cork-born father of three of Kerrymount Close, Foxrock, Dublin has pleaded not guilty to murdering the 36-year-old childcare worker.
Det Garda William Kavanagh was the exhibits officer during the search of the accused’s home. He made a log of what was seized in the two-day search, including computers and documents.
Under cross examination by Remy Farrell SC, defending, he said that 219 exhibits had been taken in the search.
Mr Farrell put it to him that there seemed to have been a focus on computers and digital media.
“Absolutely,” he replied.
He also agreed that cable ties, bull (paper) clips, condoms, duct tape, a back pack, tarpaulin, and financial documents were also seized.
Det Garda Colm Gregan seized a black and grey North Face jacket from the boot of an Audi A4 parked in the driveway. The jacket was shown on screens for the court and jury.
He said he also searched the Land Rover Freelander that was in the drive.
He seized a two-drawer filing cabinet from under the stairs of the house and several documents stored in it were shown to the jury.
These included letters from A&D Wejchert Architects, where Mr Dwyer was a partner, informing him of pay cuts. One dated December 2010 informed him that his salary would reduce by 10% from €87,350 to €78,615. The other, dated June 2011, informed him that his salary would decrease from €78,615 to €70,000.
Under cross examination by Mr Farrell, Det Gda Gregan said he could not recall if there had been an instruction to look for documents regarding a pay cut.
He was asked if he had been in court for the opening of the trial and he said he had not.
“There’s no great secret why the prosecution contend the pay cuts are of relevance,” said Mr Farrell.
He was asked why he took a wetsuit from the house.
“I do recall something in relation to a wetsuit hat, relevant to the scene where the body was found,” he replied.
Garda Dermot Whiston testified that he took “six CDs worth” or thousands of photographs during the search of Mr Dwyer’s home. He said that certain pictures were developed; booklets of these were given to the jury.
Det Garda Derek Cody searched the offices of A&D Wejchert Architects on Lower Baggot Street.
Among the items he seized was a certificate of membership of Golden Eagles Model Aero Club in Roundwood,
The jury also heard yesterday that gardaí showed Mr Dwyer’s son CCTV stills from Ms O’Hara’s apartment block to see if he could identify anyone in the footage.
The stills from Belarmine Plaza, Stepaside, showed a man the prosecution had identified as the accused. On Tuesday, a garda pointed out nine occasions when he said Mr Dwyer was present, including one with Ms O’Hara.
Det Garda Paul Corcoran yesterday testified that on October 18, 2013, he showed stills from that footage to Sennan McShea. “We were aware that Sennan McShea was the son of Mr Dwyer and the purpose was to see if he could identify anybody in the footage,” he said.
He identified three stills signed by Mr McShea. “He would have seen all the stills in the booklet and would have selected the ones he was confident with.”
The jury also heard from Garda Keith Gantly. He said he had conducted enquiries about CCTV in the Shanganagh area in the aftermath of Ms O’Hara’s disappearance.
The court had already heard that she was last seen there on the evening of August 22, 2012, and that her car was later found there.
He said there was only one camera working in the immediate area and it was pointing in the wrong direction. He said that there was also no footage of assistance in nearby Shankill Village.
The trial has heard that Ms O’Hara’s skeletal remains were discovered at Killakee on Friday, September 13, 2013. A cause of death could not be determined.
Glasses found in Vartry Reservoir in Roundwood a few weeks later matched her prescription and frames, and keys to her home and car were also found in the lake.
The has been told it will not be required until Friday.