Murder trial told of DNA evidence from two victims

The prosecution has begun laying out its evidence in the trial of two women murdered in Dublin nearly 18 years ago.

Murder trial told of DNA evidence from two victims

The prosecution has begun laying out its evidence in the trial of two women murdered in Dublin nearly 18 years ago.

42-year-old Mark Nash with previous addresses at Prussia Street and Clonliffe Road in Dublin, is accused of killing 60-year-old Sylvia Shields and 61-year-old Mary Callanan of March 1997.

Senior prosecuting counsel Brendan Grehan told the seven men and five women at the Central Criminal Court that the State’s case against 42-year-old Nash would focus on two main pillars.

First, he told the court that Mr Nash had made “unsolicited and voluntary” confessions to the March 1997 murders of 60-year-old Sylvia Shields and 61-year-old Mary Callanan to Gardaí in Galway in August of that year - confessions he subsequently retracted.

And second, he said that a “spectacular breakthrough” in scientific evidence had been made in 2009, when Gardaí opened the cold case relating to the murders in Grangegorman.

Mr Grehan told the court forensic scientists that a DNA profile matching Sylvia Shields was found from a thread taken from one of three buttons taken from a black, velvet, jacket belonging to Mr Nash during earlier examinations.

And then a second DNA profile matching Mary Callanan was found from inside the sleeve on the right side of the jacket.

The jury has been told they will be shown photo and video evidence of the house where both bodies were found today.

Mr Nash, wearing a beige jumper and blue jeans, has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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