Two cousins accused of double murder in Limerick

Wed, Oct 10, 2012, 01:00

A TRIAL OF two men accused of a double murder in Limerick has opened at the Central Criminal Court.

First cousins Patrick O’Brien (31) of Glanntan, Golflinks Road, Castletroy, Limerick and Thomas Stewart (28) of The Cedar, Briarfield, Castletroy, Limerick have both pleaded not guilty to the murders of Desmond Kelly (23) and Breda Waters (28) on January 9th, 2011 at O’Malley Park in Limerick.

In his opening address, prosecuting counsel Mr Brendan Grehan, SC, with Ms Martina Baxter, BL, outlined the case and told the jury they will hear evidence that at around 9am on the morning of the shootings, the two accused came into the home of Mr Kelly and shot Mr Kelly in the head in his kitchen.

Theresa Kelly, a sister of the deceased man, was in an upstairs bedroom minding Mr Kelly’s five-month-old daughter, while Breda Waters was in a front upstairs bedroom. It is alleged the two accused then went upstairs and shot Ms Waters in the neck.

Mr Grehan said the jury of six men and six women will also hear evidence that Mr Kelly had been drinking in his home on the night before the shootings, along with Breda Waters and her sister Martina and Mattie Quinn. Mr Quinn and Martina left the house at about 2.30am and stayed in Mr Quinn’s uncle’s house. Mr Kelly’s sister Theresa was babysitting his baby daughter in the house.

Mr Grehan said the jury will view a significant amount of CCTV footage which shows the movements of the two accused on the night prior to the shootings and on the morning of the shootings.

He said evidence will be given that the two accused were socialising together on the Saturday night and at 8am on Sunday, January 9th, 2011, they were at a house in The Cedars in Limerick.

He said Ian O’Leary called to the house in a blue Volkswagen Bora car to pick up Patrick Stewart jnr, a brother of one of the accused, to go fishing.

“It is alleged Thomas Stewart and Patrick O’Brien asked Ian O’Leary for a lift to Patrick’s father’s house but Mr O’Leary was then directed to another house,” said Mr Grehan. “There will be evidence from the house owners that the two accused came into their house and took a shotgun.”

He said the jury will further hear evidence that Ian O’Leary was asked to drive the two accused into Southhill and he will give evidence he saw a shotgun barrel sticking out of Mr O’Brien’s jacket. A gun cartridge was found in the back seat of the car.

He said that CCTV will show two men entering the house of Desmond Kelly in O’Malley Park at 8.48am. The men were then seen leaving the house at 8.58am.

He said it is the case the two accused went to Anthony Kelly’s house, left the gun in that house, changed their clothes and exited through the back door.

The trial, which is continuing before Mr Justice George Birmingham, is expected to last four weeks.