Shane Geoghegan murder trial hears further evidence

A 24-year-old Limerick housewife has testified to hearing the defendant in the Shane Geoghegan murder trial discuss the shooting in which the rugby player was killed, insisting he got the right man.

A 24-year-old Limerick housewife has testified to hearing the defendant in the Shane Geoghegan murder trial discuss the shooting in which the rugby player was killed, insisting he got the right man.

April Collins was giving evidence to the Central Criminal Court on day three of the trial of a Dublin man charged with murdering the 28-year-old in Limerick.

Barry Doyle (aged 26) of Portland Row has pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Geoghegan around 1am on November 9, 2008 at Clonmore, Kilteragh, Dooradoyle. The Garryowen player was shot near his home in a case of mistaken identity.

Ms Collins said that the night before the murder there was a conversation between the father of her three children, Ger Dundon; his brother, John Dundon; Barry Doyle and others.

“John Dundon was saying he’d everything sussed out about John McNamara and that it was time to make the move,” she said.

“I’ve the gun and car ready and everything ready to go,” John Dundon said, she testified.

She said that John Dundon explained to Barry Doyle what John McNamara looked like.

“The gun is there. You kill him,” he told Barry Doyle, she said.

She said Ger Dundon, from whom she has since split, received a phone call in the hours after the shooting and she drove him to the back of a restaurant on the Dublin Road.

“We met John Dundon and Barry Doyle. John was saying John McNamara was dead,” she said.

John Dundon then spoke to someone on the phone, she continued.

“Then he asked Barry Doyle to describe the man he killed and Barry described him. He said he was big, the way John described him,” she said.

“It was him. I’m sure it was him,” Barry Doyle added, she said.

She said John Dundon was 'very angry and violent' at that stage.

She denied suggestions by Martin O’Rourke QC, defending, that she made up this story to get herself out of trouble with the Gardaí.

She agreed that she was due in court, charged with intimidation, around the time she gave her statement to Gardaí. She said she had pleaded guilty to and had been punished for that crime.

She agreed that Ger Dundon had committed violent disorder against her victim’s father.

She said she was still in a relationship with Mr Dundon when he went to prison on remand in April 2010 and when she followed his victim’s daughter around a shop the next month, threatening to beat her.

Ger Dundon pleaded guilty to violent disorder in December 2010 and was later sentenced to five years in prison.

She also agreed that her father, James Collins, and her brother, Garrett, had been sentenced to eight years for demanding money with menaces from the same man. However she denied that these sentences motivated her to make up the story linking Barry Doyle to the murder.

Barry Doyle’s ex-girlfriend and mother of one of his children also testified today.

Victoria Gunnery said that Barry Doyle moved to Limerick in 2008 and was going to stay with Ger Dundon.

She said that he texted her at 8.30pm on November 8 that year to say he was turning his phone off because he had to go to do something. When he turned his phone on at 1.30am, she asked him why he’d had it off.

“He said there was madness going on down in Limerick,” he said. “He said to read the teletext in the morning.”

She said she did this, saw that a man had been murdered in Limerick, and texted him back.

“I called him a scumbag. He texted back: ‘Did you read the teletext’,” she said.

She said he then went away for a while and rang her from Amsterdam.

“He asked what the papers were saying about the murder,” she testified. “I said: ‘They know it’s you because it’s a very, very close associate of Patrick Doyle,” she recalled, referring to the defendant’s deceased brother.

“They have no proof,” was Barry Doyle’s response, she said.

She said that when he returned before the New Year, she asked him how he was going to live with himself ‘for doing that to an innocent fella’.

She said he replied that ‘if it wasn’t the wrong fella, there wouldn’t be so much hype’ and told her to stop asking him about it.

Under cross-examination by the defence, she said Barry Doyle often turned his phone off when she was going out drinking, so she wouldn’t ring him asking him about other girls. She said she also often called him a scumbag.

She would not have continued to see him after the murder if she thought he was involved.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan and a jury of eight men and three women.

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