Jury foreman excused in Grangegorman murder trial

The jury foreman in the trial of a man accused of murdering two women 18 years ago, has been excused.

Jury foreman excused in Grangegorman murder trial

The jury in the Mark Nash murder trial, who returned yesterday after two and half weeks of legal argument, has been reduced to six men and five women. The jury elected a new foreman.

Mark Nash, aged 42, who had last addresses at Prussia St and Clonliffe Rd in Dublin, has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to the double murder of Sylvia Shields, 59, and Mary Callanan, 61, who lived in a house attached to St Brendan’s Psychiatric Hospital in Grangegorman between March 6 and March 7, 1997.

Brendan Grehan, prosecuting, called Detective Garda Anthony Reidy of Mill St Garda Station in Galway, now retired, to give evidence. On Saturday, August 16, 1997, he received a call to come into the station and took up duty.

Mr Reidy and Detective Garda O’Donnell began to interview Mr Nash about the serious assault of a woman in Roscommon on August 16, 1997, and Mr Nash was officially cautioned.

During the interview, Mr Nash received a visit from Dr Ciarán White and afterwards the gardaí resumed the interview.

Mr Reidy told the court: “Mr Nash said he wanted to talk to us about the Phibsborough incident, he said a few months ago he was on his way home from Dublin city centre to Stoneybatter and broke into a back window of a house and stabbed two women.”

A note was made in relation to this particular matter and the memo was shown to the court. The interview resumed at 9.25pm. Mr Reidy read the passage from the memo to the court which was signed at the time by the accused.

“About three months ago, I was walking home and I stabbed two women in their sleep, my mind was disturbed at the time, you have to understand that. I have had this memo read over to me and it is correct,” read Mr Reidy.

At 9.50pm, the interview was terminated and Mr Nash was brought to hospital to get a slight wound to his head dressed.

On Sunday afternoon, Mr Nash was remanded to go from Mill St to Mountjoy Prison and was escorted by Det Garda Reidy, Garda Duffy and Garda Barrett.

Mr Reidy told the court that as they neared Dublin City, Mr Nash said he wished to point out the house where he murdered the two women. Mr Nash had given directions from Infirmary Rd in Dublin onwards and pointed out Orchard View as the house where he allegedly committed the two murders, Mr Reidy told the court.

Garda Duffy made a memo of the notes of this conversation and Mr Nash signed the notes at the time.

Hugh Hartnett, defending,

told the court at 9.25pm on August 16, 1997, the doctor advised the prisoner to be taken to hospital for treatment for a cut to his head.

“Did you ask questions as to how the injury occurred?” asked Mr Hartnett. “I can’t say for definite. There could have been. I can’t remember 17 and half years ago” replied Mr Reidy.

The trial continues.

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