Lyons could not have described knife blades more accurately, admits garda

A former Assistant Garda Commissioner has told a jury how a man who was first charged with the 1997 murder of one woman, but later had the charge withdrawn, could not have "more accurately described" the carving knife blades found at the scene.

Lyons could not have described knife blades more accurately, admits garda

Dean Lyons, now deceased was the first person who made an independent admission to the murder of Sylvia Shields (60) and Mary Callanan (61) between March 6 and March 7, 1997 and he was charged with the murder of Mary Callanan in sheltered accommodation in Grangegorman on July 27


Mark Nash, aged 42, whose last addresses at Prussia St and Clonliffe Road in Dublin, has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to the murder of Ms Shields, 60 and Ms Callanan, 61, between March 6 and 7, 1997.

Hugh Hartnett, defending, cross examined James McHugh, former Garda assistant commissioner, on Mr Lyons’ statements.

Mr McHugh told the court how Mr Lyons was allegedly heard conversing with another person by two people in the Salvation Army hostel in Grangegorman “talking about the murders.”

When gardaí met with him, Mr Lyons first words were, “I think I know what this is about,” he said.

In the interview, Mr Hartnett put it to Mr McHugh that Mr Lyons began to cry and said there was something bothering him, he had killed two ladies in Grangegorman and was very sorry.

The jury heard how Mr Lyons’ description of a “black handled sort of kitchen knife” which was taken from the drawer of the kitchen at Orchard View was consistent with the knife found at the scene.

Mr Hartnett said to Mr McHugh how Mr Lyons’ description of the carving knife blades appeared to coincide with the carving knife blades found at the scene.

“It couldn’t have been more accurately described,” agreed Mr McHugh.

In later evidence, Mr McHugh agreed a “tremor” ran through the garda headquarters in the Phoenix Park, when a second admission to the murders came from Mark Nash.

Mr McHugh agreed with Mr Hartnett that it was very clear that both statements could not be true so various examinations had to be carried out to see how both came in to existence.

Mr Hartnett asked if the information from the Grangegorman murders could have leaked into the garda station in Galway, but Mr McHugh said he was satisfied the Galway gardaí had no interest in prompting.

“We are all professional people, we don’t go around contaminating, we want to find out what the truth is.”

The trial continues.

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