Evidence changed at stabbing inquest

Witness says she had been threatened and was ‘not being truthful’ about attack

Det Insp Colm Murphy earlier told the court the principal suspect in the stabbing is now dead. Photograph: Collins

Det Insp Colm Murphy earlier told the court the principal suspect in the stabbing is now dead. Photograph: Collins

Sat, Aug 2, 2014, 01:00

An inquest into the stabbing to death of an 21-year-old Meath man was suddenly adjourned by the Dublin city coroner when one of the witnesses changed her evidence yesterday.

Siobhán Whitaker was in the witness box at the inquest into the death of Maurice Martin (21) from Silverlawns, Navan, Co Meath, who was found stabbed to death at the junction of Cardiffsbridge Road and Tolka Valley Road in Finglas on June 12th, 2009.

Mr Martin was in the final weeks of his apprentice carpentry course when he died. Dublin Coroner’s Court heard that on the night he was stabbed he had been in a city centre nightclub with classmates celebrating the end of the exams. His mother, Paula Brennan, said that when she last spoke to him he was in “great form”.

The group went to Bondi nightclub on the quays on June 11th. Class-mate Marc Casey said Mr Martin spent most of the time talking to three girls and had already left when the club closed at 3am.

Attacked

In her statement to gardaí, initially read out at the inquest, Whitaker claimed she went home from the nightclub, where she had been out with friends, accompanied by a man called “Graham” who was then attacked by two men as they arrived at her door. She had been dropped at the nightclub by Daniel Gaynor, a boyfriend of one of her friends, she said.

Threatened

However, after the statement was read out, Whitaker said she was “not being truthful”. She was told what to say by Gaynor after he had threatened her, she said. Gaynor was the chief suspect in the stabbing. He was later murdered in a gangland killing in August 2010.

Whitaker said she met Mr Martin in the nightclub and he offered to come back to her house after her friends had left with her keys and money. They got a taxi and stopped off to collect the keys before going back to her house at Valeview Drive in Finglas.

“Just as we went in there was a bang at the door. I opened it and Daniel ran into the house. He chased Maurice up the stairs into my son’s bedroom and Maurice jumped into the wardrobe. Daniel was attacking him. I was pulling and screaming at Daniel and this gave Maurice a chance to run away. Daniel chased him and I ran after him. They ran through Kippure Park and I lost them at that point,” she said.

She did not see the stabbing, she said. At the conclusion of her evidence, she offered her apologies.

Det Insp Colm Murphy earlier told the court the principal suspect in the stabbing is now dead. A number of arrests were made and a file went to the Director of Public Prosecutions with one person prosecuted and convicted in relation to the aftermath of the incident.

This was Whitaker who received an 18-month sentence at the Circuit Criminal Court in January for impeding the apprehension of an individual she knew or believed to be guilty of a serious crime.

Coroner Dr Brian Farrell said he needed to adjourn to allow gardaí­ the chance to re-interview Whitaker to ensure there was no other information in relation to the incident.