Two men on trial for petrol bomb attack

Two Blarney men, accused of throwing a lighting petrol bomb into an apartment and other charges, were put on trial yesterday.

Michael Murphy, aged 32, of 28 Woodfield Hall, Station Road, Blarney, Co Cork, and Garrett Hill, aged 33, of 18 The View, Gleann Na Rí, Tower, Blarney, Co Cork, both pleaded not guilty to the charge that on February 17 at 12 Woodfield Hall, Station Road, each of them intentionally or recklessly engaged in conduct, namely throwing a lit petrol bomb, into the house occupied by Laura O’Callaghan which created a substantial risk of death or serious injury.

They also denied assault and threat charges arising out of disputed events commencing at Soho Bar, Cork City, on February 16, 2014.

A third defendant, Amy Forrest, aged 25, of 28 Woodfield Hall, Station Road, Blarney, denied the single charge of endangerment by providing a petrol bomb to others which was thrown at a house at Woodfield Hall.

Laura O’Callaghan testified she was in Soho when Michael Murphy tried to trip her: “I slapped him once on the face. We caught on to each other. My mother ran up to save me. A man hit her. He punched her. She was knocked out straightaway.

“Mickey [Michael Murphy] and Garrett started going for me. I threw glasses to protect myself.” Outside, she claimed he struck her on the side of the neck and she was hospitalised.

Ms O’Callaghan said she saw Mr Hill and Mr Murphy in a car driven slowly past her sister’s apartment at Woodfield making gun gestures with their fingers to the side of the head.

“[Following that] I saw three people running out towards my sister’s house, Mickey Murphy, Garrett Hill and Amy Forrest. He [Murphy] went right up to the sitting room window trying to come in with a knife... My husband had to try to fight him off with a hockey stick. He threw in a petrol bomb. My husband’s clothes caught fire.

“The other two with Mickey Murphy were holding petrol bombs as well. A second petrol bomb was fired in by Garrett,” she said.

For Hill, Marjorie Farrelly SC said Laura O’Callaghan started it at Soho by running at the group and laying into Murphy. She denied that.

Hill is also charged with assault causing harm to Breda O’Callaghan O’Connell, Laura O’Callaghan’s mother, at Soho Bar.

Ms Farrelly said Laura O’Callaghan identified another man to gardaí as the man who assaulted her mother: “I have to put it to you that you are entirely making this up to justify what you and your family did afterwards.”

Ms O’Callaghan replied: “No that is not true, we don’t have to make up anything.”

James O’Mahony SC for Murphy said: “Someone did hit you outside Soho but it was not Michael Murphy and it was probably one of the many people struck by glass that you threw. You are making this up .” She denied that.

Padraig Dwyer SC for Forrest said: “You are 110% wrong when you say Ms Forrrest was part of that group [outside her sister’s apartment].” She replied: “I am 100% right.”

The trial before Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin and a jury of five women and seven men continues today at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

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