Jury in Keane trial to receive vaccinations

The jury in the trial of five Limerick men accused of murdering Kieran Keane has been offered free flu vaccinations to protect them from illness in the event of a flu epidemic during the high profile trial.

The jury in the trial of five Limerick men accused of murdering Kieran Keane has been offered free flu vaccinations to protect them from illness in the event of a flu epidemic during the high profile trial.

Mr Justice Carney said today that the Central Criminal Court must "nurture and cherish" the jury and it cannot be allowed fall beyond a certain number.

A doctor will attend at Cloverhill courthouse on Tuesday to vaccinate the judge, the registrar and the jurors, should they decide to accept the vaccination, the uptake of which is voluntary.

The free vaccination offer came as the court heard that one juror has suffered a bereavement and cannot attend court on Friday.

The judge said he is not going to discharge the jury and to facilitate the juror, the court will not sit on Friday.

The chief witness in the case, Owen Treacy, continued his cross examination today.

He told the jury he watched his uncle Kieran Keane "being pushed to the ground like a dog and shot like a dog with his hands tied behind his back".

He alleged that the accused Christopher "Smokie" Costelloe cut his throat with a knife before another accused, David "Frogs Eyes" Stanners, "grabbed the knife" and began stabbing Mr Treacy.

Mr Blaise O'Carroll SC, representing Desmond Dundon, put it to the witness that the deceased suffered a cluster of six stab wounds to the left side of the head.

He said the pathologist's evidence will be that these wounds suggested they were inflicted for reasons of "torture" and were not intended to be fatal.

He asked the witness why he made no mention of the stabbing of Kieran Keane. "Can you explain?" asked counsel.

"I cannot My Lord" Mr Treacy replied.

He repeated that he saw his uncle being dragged in front of the headlights of a green Hiace van at Drombana and shot dead. But he did not see him being stabbed, he said.

Earlier, counsel for David Stanners objected to the witness's use of the nickname "Frogs Eyes" when referring to Mr Stanners.

Mr Anthony Sammon SC complained that the term was a "continuing insult" to his client and was an apparent reference to Mr Stanners "physical attributes"

The five accused have pleaded not guilty to the murder of Kieran Keane, aged 36, of Garryowen House, Garryowen, Limerick on January 29 last at Drombana, Bushy Island, Limerick and to falsely imprisoning Mr Keane on the same date.

They also deny the attempted murder of Owen Treacy, aged 31, of St Munchin's Street, St Mary's Park, Limerick on January 29, 2003 at Drombana and to falsely imprisoning him on the same date.

They are: David "Frogs Eyes" Stanners, aged 31 of Pineview Gardens, Moyross; Desmond Dundon, aged 20, of Hyde Road, Limerick; Anthony "Noddy" McCarthy, aged 21, of Fairgreen, Garryowen; Christopher "Smokie" Costelloe, aged 20, of Moylish Avenue, Ballynanty Beg and James McCarthy, aged 24, of Delmege Park, Moyross.

The trial before Mr Justice Carney and a jury continues today tomorrow.

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