A personal feud, which erupted in 2005, ended with 30-year-old Shane Rossiter being shot dead outside a rented house in October of 2012, an inquest has heard.
Mr Rossiter – whose brother Brian (14) died in 2002, days after being found unconscious in Clonmel garda station – was shot in the abdomen and chest at Church Lane in Golden, Co Tipperary, and died a short time later in hospital.
Maurice Power (31) of Kilmoyler, Cahir, Co Tipperary, is now serving a life sentence in prison after being found guilty earlier this year of murdering Shane Rossiter.
The inquest in Clonmel was told by gardaí that the feud between Mr Rossiter and Power was not drugs-related. “It was a feud that erupted in or around 2005 when Shane Rossiter was stabbed by Maurice Power,” Det Sgt Kevin O’Keeffe said. “It continued from then.”
After the inquest, Shane’s father Pat Rossiter said he was at a loss to understand why his son was killed. “I still don’t figure it. It makes it all the more hard.” The inquest brought some closure for the Rossiter family, he said as he left the coroner’s court with Shane’s mother Siobhan. “We just couldn’t believe that lightning would strike twice in the one place,” he said in relation to the deaths of Shane and Brian.
The jury returned a verdict – on the recommendation of coroner Paul Morris and following medical evidence from state pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy – that death was due to shotgun wounds to the chest and abdomen, resulting in internal blood loss and damage to several organs and blood vessels.
This was consistent with unlawful killing.
A number of people who were in the house at Church Lane in Golden at the time of the murder, on October 17th of 2012, gave evidence to yesterday’s inquest, while others weren’t in court but had their depositions read into the record.
A deposition by Paul McCarthy said was in the house in Golden and, at about 6am, Shane rang somebody “for a bit of grass,” as they were “only looking for a few joints”.
When a car arrived outside the house, Mr McCarthy went out with Shane but saw there was a sawn-off shotgun in the car and “legged it”.
He heard a bang and kept running and then heard another shot.
Paramedics who attended the scene included Shane Hoey, who said he arrived at the scene at about 6.55am. He saw a male lying on the ground, just inside the front door of the house, and a woman was applying a towel to the victim’s abdomen. “He had a serious wound to his abdomen and his intestines were protruding through the wound.”
Mr Rossiter was taken by ambulance to hospital in Clonmel, but pronounced dead shortly afterwards.
Pat Rossiter also took the witness stand and, in his deposition, said he hadn't spoken to Shane in over two years. "He was locked up in prison before going to Australia. "
Shane was back in Ireland about two months before the shooting and his father saw him coming out of a house in Clonmel one night, but didn't speak to him. "I broke contact with him because of his lifestyle and the effect it was having on me and my family," Mr Rossiter said.
In response to questions from the coroner, Mr Rossiter said he didn’t remember Shane ever being involved in drugs, “just general bother”.
They heard at the murder trial earlier in the year there was “friction” between Shane and the accused. “They had a history. That’s all I know.”