Jury fails to reach verdict in murder trial of man who ‘floored’ construction worker with punch

Defence argues it had not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that client had the requisite intent at time of incident

A Central Criminal Court jury has failed to reach a verdict in the murder trial of a man who the State argued “floored” a young Dublin construction worker with a “Conor McGregor” style knockout after targeting him as he walked alone in a rural town late at night.

The prosecution had told the jurors that it was a punch thrown by Maurice Boland that caused 26-year-old Cian Gallagher to fall and hit the back of his head. It was the State’s case that Boland had intended to kill or cause serious injury to the deceased at the time. The trial heard that both men had been drinking before Mr Gallagher was killed.

However, the defence argued in their closing address that the pathologist could not have been clearer in her evidence that the fall caused the damage to Mr Gallagher and not the punch from the accused.

In her closing speech, prosecution counsel Róisín Lacey SC told the murder trial jury that Boland “targeted” and “relentlessly pursued” Mr Gallagher as he walked alone on the street of a rural town before “proudly and boastfully” using the phrase “a Conor McGregor knockout” to describe “flooring” the victim as he retreated.


The prosecutor said injuries to Boland’s hand were caused by the punch and that CCTV footage showed the accused punching Mr Gallagher, who was retreating at the time.

In seeking a manslaughter verdict for his client, Michael Bowman SC, defending, submitted in his closing statement that the “ludicrous and offensive statement” of “a Conor McGregor knockout” was no more than “drunken mouthing off” and was a facile reference.

The defence barrister said it had not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that his client had the requisite intent at the time and to suggest his client was “targeting” Mr Gallagher was not sustainable on the evidence.

Boland (36) of Bridgeview Close, Tallow, Co Waterford had pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of Cian Gallagher (26) at Barrack St in Tallow on November 10th, 2022.

After 13 hours and 23 minutes of deliberations over four days the jury returned to court on Monday afternoon unable to reach a verdict.

Mr Justice Paul McDermott said this can sometimes happen and in those circumstances, the court would record it as a disagreement. The judge exempted them from jury service for the next five years before listing the case for retrial on November 25th.