Trial told of shooting through car window


A father of five was killed by a gunman who appeared at the side of his van and shot him through the driver’s window, a witness has told a murder trial.

The jury at the Central Criminal Court in Cork also heard yesterday from Garda Kevin McCarthy that Michael Collins (29) had called to Blarney Garda station four days before the killing to inquire about a complaint he had made about Patrick “Packie” Hogan, the subsequent victim in the shooting.

Mr Collins was not happy with the progress being made in the investigation and said he would sort matters out himself, but he did not explain what he meant by this, said Garda McCarthy.

Witness evidence

In evidence yesterday, Patrick O’Brien told how, on February 10th, 2011, he was a passenger in a van being driven by his friend, Mr Hogan, when their passage on the Glen Road near Blarney was blocked by a parked car.

Mr O’Brien told how they came to a halt and, moments later, he heard Mr Hogan shout that there was a gunman beside their van.

He said he heard a shot and Mr Hogan was wounded in the chest. He tried to reverse away but he could not get the car in gear. Mr O’Brien said Mr Hogan told him to go and get help so he got out of the van and rang 999 and, although he was connected, the operator could not hear him clearly.

He said he saw Mr Hogan stumble out of the van but he was concerned that the gunman, who was wearing a balaclava, might fire at him so he waded across a river into a nearby field. The gunman spotted him and fired at him but missed and moved away, so he crossed the river again and found Mr Hogan lying dead in a field.

Mr O’Brien was giving evidence on the second day of the trial of Mr Collins, who denies murdering Mr Hogan.