A jury has heard that a man accused of plotting to steal from a cash-in-transit van had been told by Eamonn Dunne that he would be shot if he did not get involved.
Detective Sergeant Peter Oates told Alan Toal BL, defending, that he did not know that Joseph Warren had later told gardaí he had been acting under duress and that Dunne would “take him out” if he didn’t turn up that day.
Mr Warren (aged 30) of Belclare Crescent, Ballymun, has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to conspiring to steal cash from Chubb Ireland at Tesco supermarket on the Shackleton Road in Celbridge on November 2, 2007.
Det Sgt Oates told the jury he had been part of the surveillance operation that day.
He said he was not aware that Dunne was the leader of the gang or that gardaí believed he was a serial killer.
“He was part of an organized criminal gang with Mr Warren,” Det Sgt Oates said.
Mr Toal then told the witness that there was “a vast amount in the papers” which reported that Dunne had the ability to execute people, “snuff a life in a heartbeat”, and that he was “public enemy number one”.
“I deal with facts and evidence. I investigate serious crime. What you are talking about is a belief held by the public,” Det Sgt Oates replied.
Mr Toal continued that Dunne had been termed as “the personification of evil” and “a serial murderer” in articles in which counsel said the journalists claimed to have spoken to senior garda officials.
Det Sgt Oates said he was “not aware” that Dunne was believed to have executed both Martin (Marlo) Hyland and young plumber Anthony Campbell, before taking Hyland’s reins.
He also asked did he know that Dunne was said to have assassinated his own friend.
“I am not privy to the investigation of that murder. I am not at liberty to discuss it,” Det Sgt Oates replied.
He said he was not aware that Dunne is also believed to have taken a bite out of a cheek of man who owed him money, in front of CCTV cameras at Liffey Valley Shopping Centre.
Deirdre Murphy SC, prosecuting, said that it was unfair to the witness to expect him to comment on articles that Mr Toal had “culled” from the newspapers.
Det Sgt Oates again told Mr Toal that he was not aware that Mr Warren later claimed he had been acting under duress and that if he did not appear on the morning of November 2, 2007, he would be shot.
“No. My role was in relation to the surveillance operation that morning,” Det Sgt Oates replied.
The trial continues before Judge Tony Hunt and a jury of of seven women and four men.