Garda denies offering defendant witness protection

A garda detective has denied that a man on trial for the murder of Limerick man, Eddie Ryan Snr, was offered a place on the Witness Protection Programme if he turned state witness.

A garda detective has denied that a man on trial for the murder of Limerick man, Eddie Ryan Snr, was offered a place on the Witness Protection Programme if he turned state witness.

Detective Garda Gerard Hogan told the Central Criminal Court trial of Paul Coffey, that he offered no inducements to the accused man to get him to make statements in custody and nor did he offer him a place on the Witness Protection Programme.

The prosecution alleges that the accused man, Paul Coffey, drove the getaway car for two gunmen who entered the Moose Bar in Cathedral Place, Limerick city on November 12, 2000 and shot dead Limerick man Eddie Ryan Senior.

Counsel for the DPP has alleged that as an accessory to the killing who took directions from the gunmen, Coffey is as guilty of murder as the men who fired the fatal shots.

Coffey, aged 26, whose last address was at Craeval Park, Moyross, Limerick, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Edward 'Eddie' Ryan, aged 41, of Hogan Avenue, Kileely, Limerick, at Cathedral Place in Limerick city on 12 November 2000.

The accused man is originally from Derryfada, Clonlara, Co Clare.

Mr Ryan was shot 11 times and died of multiple gunshot wounds to the trunk, the deputy state pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy has told the trial.

Under cross-examination from Michael Moloney BL, for Coffey, Detective Garda Hogan denied he had assaulted Paul Coffey during his detention in Mayorstone garda station, Limerick, between December 7 and 10 2000.

Re-examined by Shane Murphy SC, prosecuting, Det Gda Hogan agreed that at no stage, either during the detention or during a subsequent District Court hearing, did Paul Coffey or his solicitor make a complaint alleging assault, inducements or any improper behaviour on the part of the gardaí who interrogated him.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Abbott in the Central Criminal Court.

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