Witness says murder accused was abusive towards victim

A mother who was celebrating the christening of her baby son in a Bray pub has claimed the accused used abusive language towards the deceased man, hours before he was fatally stabbed, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

A mother who was celebrating the christening of her baby son in a Bray pub has claimed the accused used abusive language towards the deceased man hours before he was fatally stabbed, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

Ms Rosalind Crean alleges that after the deceased said hello to the accused in the William Dargan pub, he replied saying: "What the f**k are you looking at" or "What are you f**king smiling at".

Mr Richard O’Carroll (aged 33) with addresses at Greenpark Road, Bray, Co. Wicklow and Cois Sleibhe, Southern Cross Road, Bray has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Keith Fortune (aged 27) of Hazelwood Upper, Dargle Road, Bray.

Mr Fortune allegedly died as a result of an incident at the "William Dargan Inn", Goldsmith Terrace, on Quinsboro Road in Bray in the early hours of May 2, 1999. He was in the company of family celebrating the christening of a child.

Ms Crean told the court she went to the William Dargan Inn with her friends and family after the christening of her son after 4.30pm on May 1. When Mr Fortune arrived to the afters of the christening some time later he gave Ms Crean and her now ex-husband a card with a £20 note in it.

As she left the pub after last orders she saw Mr Fortune lying on the ground at the top of the stairwell.

"I started panicking when I saw the blood. I was trying to talk to him to calm him down, he was just making gurgling sounds", Ms Crean said.

Ms Josephine McDonald, who was a bar maid at the William Dargan Inn in Bray six years ago said the deceased man was part of the christening party on May 1 and "seemed jolly" earlier that evening.

Ms McDonald said after last orders at 11.30pm she became aware that an ambulance had been called to the pub. After going outside into the stairwell of the pub, she saw Mr Fortune lying at the top of the stairs surrounded by three or four women who were crying.

The barmaid told the jury of five women and seven men that one of her work colleagues was holding the late Mr Fortune’s head on her lap. "His head was on her lap, the girls were crying," she said.

After leaving a number of towels with the girls to try and stop the blood flowing from the wounds in his chest the barmaid then went back downstairs and into the pub.

Prosecuting counsel, Mr Barry Hickson SC, read the evidence of Mr Sean Fortune, the deceased’s father to the jury. In his evidence, Mr Fortune said he identified his 27-year-old son’s body at 5.15am on May 2, 1999 at St Colmcille’s hospital, Loughlinstown.

The trial continues before Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne at the Central Criminal Court.

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