Firefighters recall finding skulls, ribcage in burnt out car
Dubliner Jason O’Driscoll (35) on trial for murder of two men in Co Louth in 2012
A file image of the scene where two bodies were found in a burnt out car at Ravensdale Park near Dundalk on March 7th, 2012. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire.
Firefighters have described finding skulls and a ribcage after extinguishing a burning car in a Co Louth car park six years ago.
They were giving evidence to the Central Criminal Court on Thursday in the trial of a 35-year-old Dubliner charged with murdering two men, who the prosecutor described as “small-time criminals”.
He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and the jury will be asked to use circumstantial evidence to convict him.
Stephen Hoey testified that he was called to a burning car at Ravensdale Park near Dundalk that night. He told Anne Rowland BL, prosecuting, that, on putting out the flames, he thought he saw something in the driver’s seat.
He said that he cleared the smoke and saw a skull and rib cage on the seat. He said that by the time gardaí arrived, he could clearly see someone hanging out of the driver’s seat. The skull was very badly cracked, he added.
Vincent McGuinness, then Mr Hoey’s senior officer, told Ms Rowland that his colleague alerted him to the body. Mr McGuinness shone his torch into the car and saw the skull, which appeared to be slumped at the driver’s door.
He said he immediately called his men back as he was concerned that this was now a crime scene. He then called Dundalk Garda station.
He testified that he went over to the car one more time with the gardaí to make sure that the fire was completely out. A garda shone his flashlight into the car at this stage, and Mr McGuinness noticed a second skull in the driver’s footwell.
The trial continues.