Gardaí found hatchet and hammer in house of 'getaway driver', court hears

The jury in the trial of a man alleged to be the getaway driver in a fatal shooting has heard that gardaí found a hatchet, a hammer and a motorbike jacket in the accused's house in the hours after the murder.

The jury in the trial of a man alleged to be the getaway driver in a fatal shooting has heard that gardaí found a hatchet, a hammer and a motorbike jacket in the accused's house in the hours after the murder.

A number of Garda witnesses were giving evidence on day three of the trial of Liam Bolger (aged 23), of Homelawn Gardens, Tallaght in Dublin, who is accused of murdering Christopher Barry (aged 25), in Donnycarney in September last year.

Mr Bolger denies the murder.

The Central Criminal Court has heard that Mr Barry was shot nine times by a lone gunman in Byrne's Bookmakers on Killester Avenue on the afternoon of Saturday, September 13, 2008.

It is the prosecution's case that Mr Bolger was the getaway driver for the gunman on the day in question, and that the case is one of joint enterprise.

The jury of six men and six women has heard evidence from several witnesses who saw a gunman, wearing a dark helmet enter the bookies and open fire.

A number of the eye-witnesses ran back inside after they saw the gunman drive away on a motorbike, and saw Christopher Barry lying on the floor with a number of gunshot wounds, including one to the head.

One of the main witnesses, Patrick Drew, told the court how he saw a white van with the engine running parked around the corner from the scene of the shooting.

He described the driver as being in his 20s or 30s, heavy-set around the shoulders with fair or sandy-coloured hair and reasonably clean-shaven.

“I made eye contact...he lifted a newspaper and put it to his face” Mr Drew said.

He then saw a man wearing a helmet sprint down the lane and jump into the van which took off “pretty fast.” He noted the van's registration and contacted gardaí.

He also noticed smoke coming from nearby La Vista Avenue, where the gunman allegedly set the motorbike on fire.

On day three of the trial, Detective Garda Greg Fleming told the Central Criminal Court that he carried out a search of a house at Homelawn Gardens in Tallaght on the afternoon of September 13, 2008.

Detective Fleming said he was made aware that there had been a fatal shooting on the northside of Dublin and that Gardai had obtained a search warrant for the house to look for evidence in relation to the incident.

On searching the house, he found a jacket and underneath that, a motorbike jacket in the hallway.

“As I lifted it up I heard a clink like something fell out. I saw it was a hatchet and a hammer...it was as if they were attached to the jacket and they fell from the jacket onto the ground,” Detective Fleming told the court.

Under cross examination by counsel for the defence, Mr Brendan Grehan SC, Detective Fleming said he was not trying to convey to the jury that the hatchet was wrapped in the jacket.

The hatchet and hammer were displayed to the jury.

The court heard that a Samsung mobile phone and a Nokia mobile phone were also discovered, along with a number of blue tablets and a bag of white powder.

A petrol can was discovered in the back garden and two car seat-covers in the front garden.

Sergeant Tomas McManus also took the witness stand and said he was given information on a white Renault van that had been seen acting suspiciously in Killester, and that was registered to an address at Home lawn Gardens in Tallyho.

He was asked to go and check if the van was at the house.

On arrival he noticed the van was not there, but observed it emerging from a nearby estate a short time later.

There were two men inside, one of whom Sergeant McManus said he now knows to be Liam Bolger.

The two men went into a house and after a time he noticed the man who got out of the passenger side emerge from the house and wipe down part of the passenger side of the van with a cloth.

The trial resumes on Monday before Mr Justice Paul Carney.

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