Pathetic bravado of a murderer
John Dundon showed no remorse for the killing of an innocent man
John Dundon’s solicitor John Devane outside the Special Criminal Court yesterday. He said his client wore headphones in court to avoid hearing what he believed would be a “tissue of lies” against him, as he vehemently insists he is innocent. Photograph: Eric Luke
If you look at investigating officers at the end of a major murder trial, you see the tension evaporate from their faces at the moment of conviction. The feeling of relief is almost palpable.
Not so yesterday in the Special Criminal Court.
True, there was some grim satisfaction to be taken from the fact that a vicious and evil man will be off the streets for a few years longer. But that was about it. Apart from a contemptuous little grin from the murderer as he was taken down, nobody was celebrating.
There was silence in the courtroom when John Dundon was found guilty of the murder of Shane Geoghegan, an innocent young man mistakenly shot outside his home in Limerick by a thug who had been briefed and dispatched by Dundon to kill a rival drug dealer.
After the three judges were gone, there weren’t the usual handshakes and smiles. The huge contingent of gardaí quickly dispersed. Chief-Supt Dave Sheahan and his team from Limerick made no comment as they walked from the courts.
Meanwhile, Shane Geoghegan’s family – including his mother, fiancée and brother, slipped discreetly away. Mary Geoghegan sat through the trial of the man responsible for the death of her son. But she had no wish to make a statement in court when he was finally convicted of his murder.
“She has asked me to say simply that the facts of the case speak for themselves” said prosecuting counsel, Sean Guerin.
And what more was there to be said? The whole country has felt her pain and knows her beloved Shane was a fine man. He is well remembered and will be long remembered.
We were glad Mary Geoghegan didn’t speak in the insulting presence of her son’s killer.
Dundon’s lawyer said his client “deeply regrets” that Shane lost his life in the way he did. But would that regret have been deep enough for him to remove his headphones and actually listen to her?
The sight of this pumped up little man putting on a show by listening to music while Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns read out the final part of the judgment was quite hard to take. Even on the far side of the crowded courtroom, it was possible to make out the beat.
He was listening to rap, said some of those who were seated nearest the sound leakage.
It was utterly galling to have to witness such a display of blatant disrespect, with Dundon peering up from under his eyebrows every now and then to see how his studied indifference was going down. Loving the notoriety, no doubt.
Scary, how one despicable individual can cause such a fuss. A walk-through metal detector and body scanning unit was set up at the entrance to the courtroom. Everyone was searched going in. Names were taken.