Murder accused sacks his legal team

A man accused of murdering a 25-year-old man in Waterford last year has dismissed his legal team and has asked to recall his nephew, who is a witness in the trial, for cross-examination, a jury has heard.

Tadhg Butler, aged 34, with an address at Seafield in Tramore, Co Waterford, is charged with murdering Michael O’Dwyer at that address on January 10, 2014. Mr Butler, also known as Thomas O’Grady and originally from Kilkenny, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr O’Dwyer, from Kilkenny.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy told the jury Mr Butler has now dismissed his legal team and will deal with the matter in person.

Denis Vaughan Buckley, prosecuting, then called gardaí who interviewed the accused at Tramore Garda Station on January 10, 2014.

Mr Vaughan Buckley called Garda Eamon Raleigh and read from his memo taken when he interviewed Mr Butler on January 10 2014. Gardaí asked the accused man: “A DNA sample was taken from you. How would you explain a DNA sample then being found on Michael O’Dwyer’s clothes?”

The accused replied: “It wouldn’t be found.”

Mr Butler then told gardaí he hugged Mr O’Dwyer when he came into his house that evening and that would explain how it got there.

Mr Vaughan Buckley then called Detective Garda Jennifer Ryan, who also interviewed Mr Butler on January 10, 2014.

The court heard how Det Garda Ryan had asked the accused whether he felt sorry for what happened to Mr O’Dwyer.

“I am saddened for his death and saddened for his family members. I say they are in a pretty bad way grieving,” he replied.

“Of course I know Michael from years ago, hanging around with my nephew. I’m a father of five kids myself. If I heard one of my five kids passed away, I couldn’t imagine the way I would be feeling myself.”

Det Garda Ryan asked the accused if he respected life, to which Mr Butler replied yes.

“You still saying it was nothing to do with you?” asked Det Garda Ryan.

“Yes,” replied Mr Butler.

The final witness yesterday was Detective Garda Seamus Keevans.

The court heard there was an interval of 14 to 15 minutes before the accused was first observed going into his house at Seafield until the gardaí managed to ram open his front door.

Noel Whelan, prosecuting, put it to Det Garda Keevans how the gardaí had conducted various searches to see if they could locate any murder weapons at the scene,

but that no blood stained knife was ever found at the scene.

In reply, Det Garda Keevans said how all that was taken from the scene was six table knives and two sharp knives, which were found in the drawer of the kitchen.

This concluded the prosecution’s evidence, the judge was told.

In the afternoon, Mr Justice McCarthy told the jury how the accused has indicated he would like a further opportunity of cross examining his nephew Anthony O’Grady. “I’ve decided to afford him this opportunity.”

The trial continues.


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