Man 'not connected' to earlier murder says Supt

A man who died following a beating in a derelict house in Cork in 1997 was

A man who died following a beating in a derelict house in Cork in 1997 was

not involved in any way in the death 10 years earlier of another man as was

alleged during the trial of a man accused of his murder.

Retired Supt Patrick Brennan, of Mayfield garda station, Cork was giving

evidence at the sixth day of the retrial of William Carroll (52) at the

Central Criminal Court. Mr Carroll, of no fixed address, has denied the

murder of Mr Thomas Harte, (40) of Allen's Square, Ballymacthomas, Cork in a

derelict house on Leitrim Street, Cork, between 19th and 20th May 1997.

Supt Brennan told Mr Paul Greene BL for the prosecution that the deceased

man was in no way connected with the death of the accused man's brother,

Gerard Carroll, in 1987. Last week the main prosecution witness, Mr Michael

Flynn gave evidence to the court that on the night Mr Harte was attacked,

the accused man had claimed he was responsible for the death of his brother

at a pub in Cork city.

In his evidence Mr Flynn said the accused had repeatedly told his nephew

Patrick Carroll "that's the man who killed your father in the Long Valley

pub... that's the man that killed my lovely brother, my lovely brother" as

the two men proceeded to attack Mr Harte.

Today in court, Supt Brennan said, "a full and thorough investigation was

carried out following the death of Gerard Carroll and we are satisfied that

Mr Harte was not an employee of the Long Valley Pub then or at any time." He

agreed with counsel that Mr Harte's name didn't appear "in any shape or

form" in relation to the matter.

Under cross-examination by Mr Tim Bracken BL for the defence, Supt Brennan

told the court that 201 statements were taken during the initial

investigation into the attack on Mr Harte. Arising from this Supt Brennan

concluded in his report to the state solicitor's office that there was

sufficient evidence to sustain a charge against William Carroll and his

nephew, Patrick Carroll.

The court has already heard that Mr Patrick Carroll was also charged with

the murder of Mr Harte but that a nolle prosequi had been entered following

his hospitalisation over two years ago and his related medical condition.

The assistant state pathologist, Dr Margot Bolster has given evidence that

Mr Harte died from asphyxiation, due to the inhalation of blood, due to

blunt force trauma to the head. He suffered a total of 67 blows to the head

and body, and weapons including a toaster, a flowerpot holder and an

aluminium tube were allegedly used to beat him.

Mr Harte suffered from severe epilepsy and sometimes wandered away from home

when he was feeling down. He had been staying at the derelict house, used by

down and outs and winos, for three days before he was attacked.

The trial continues tomorrow when the defence will enter into evidence

before Mr Justice Carney and a jury.

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