Manslaughter accused: I know my own strength

A man who denies unlawfully killing another outside Sopranos, a Kilbarrack, Dublin, take-away, denied using a fist to hit the victim and said he knew himself enough to know he did not need to punch anyone.

A man who denies unlawfully killing another outside Sopranos, a Kilbarrack, Dublin, take-away, denied using a fist to hit the victim and said he knew himself enough to know he did not need to punch anyone.

"I know my size and strength, and I don’t need to punch anyone," Mr Liam Dunne (aged 39), Hazelburry Park, Clonee, Co Meath, who is accused of manslaughter, told gardaí when he was interviewed some days after the alleged unlawful killing.

Mr Dunne is accused of causing the death of Mr Alfred Dillon (aged 44), Trim Road, Coolock, Dublin, by hitting him on the face, which led to Mr Dillon falling and hitting his head on the ground. Mr Dillon died subsequently of brain injuries caused by a fractured skull.

The incident took place outside Sopranos fast food shop near Greendale Shopping Centre in Kilbarrack in the early hours of the morning of August 4, 2003.

Garda John Delaney said Mr Dunne told him on August 20, 2003, that he hit Mr Dillon on the left side of his face with an open hand after Mr Dillon grabbed his right sleeve after saying: "Look who it is, Mr F**king Dunne" and that he wated to "f**king talk to you".

Mr Dunne also told gardaí he did not run away from the scene, though he left Mr Dillon shortly after he fell to ground. "It was not like I could get away with it," he said.

He said he knew that the three women, whom he knew from the neighbourhood, who came out of Sopranos when they saw Mr Dillon fall to the ground, would have given him the necessary assistance. He also said he would have stayed if not for the screaming women.

He said he went for a drive then and eventually went to his mother’s home in Kilbarrack. Later that morning his brother told him there had been "an incident" near Sopranos, but he did not mention his own involvement in the matter.

Later that day he went to a bar on Marlborough Street and stayed drinking there. His brother sent him several texts and continued to ask him about him about his whereabouts. Some time later his brother came to the bar and he admitted his own involvement in the incident.

Gda Delaney said Mr Dunne referred to a comment he made in an earlier statement about Mr Dillon being "a tough nut" and said he did not want to appear disrespectful to the family. He said what he meant by the remark was that he was wary of Mr Dillon.

The jury had earlier heard that Mr Dillon had been drinking in Foxhound, a public house in the vicinity. In the early hours of the morning he had gone to Sopranos to buy some food and had approached a car which pulled up nearby as he left the take-away.

Mr Dunne was a passenger in the car and and the altercation took place between him and Mr Dillon. Customers in Sopranos at the time told the jury they saw Mr Dunne hitting Mr Dillon in the face and Mr Dillon fall to the ground subsequently.

He died in Beaumont Hospital on August 5, 2003.

The hearing continues before Judge Michael White.

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