Man found guilty of murder over fatal Dublin stabbing

Daniel Colgan (66) killed David Sheridan outside Luigi’s takeaway on North Strand

 Donal Colgan (66) formerly of Killarney Court, Killarney Street, Dublin 1 arrives at the Central Criminal Court. Photograph: Collins Courts.

Donal Colgan (66) formerly of Killarney Court, Killarney Street, Dublin 1 arrives at the Central Criminal Court. Photograph: Collins Courts.

 

A former British army soldier who stabbed a man to death outside a north Dublin chip shop has been found guilty of murder.

Donal Colgan (66) had pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of 44-year-old David Sheridan.

Colgan stabbed him outside Luigi’s takeaway on Dublin’s North Strand Road on August 17th, 2014.

The defence at the Central Criminal Court argued that Colgan lost all self-control when David Sheridan struck him on the head with a bag of cans. The prosecution said that Colgan attacked the deceased out of anger following an altercation seven minutes earlier outside the chip shop. He had gone home and returned to the scene with a knife.

The jury reached their unanimous decision following five days of evidence and six hours and 44 minutes of deliberation.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt thanked the eight women and three men, saying they had discharged a “very difficult task”. He excused them from further service for 10 years.

In a statement read to the court by Garda Ronan Hobbs, Mr Sheridan’s son Jake Fay said his father was “not perfect he but did his best” and he did not deserve to die in the way he did. He said his memories of his father are of going to matches, cooking and watching television together and added that he will never forgive Donal Colgan.

Garda Hobbs told prosecuting counsel Paul Burns SC that Colgan had two previous convictions, one for assault and one under the Non-Fatal Offences Against the State Act.

Mr Justice Hunt said he had the “sad and grim duty” of sentencing Colgan to life. He said it is sometimes satisfying to send a person to prison but this was not one of those occasions.

While saying he could find no fault with the jury’s decision, he said he is sure that Colgan did not go out that evening with any intention of doing what he did and that if he could turn back the clock he would.

He also offered his condolences to Mr Sheridan’s family and said it was clear the deceased was a “nice man” who did not deserve to die in such a “cruel” way.

Mr Justice Hunt also called on the Law Reform Commission to look at the defence of provocation that was used by Colgan, particularly in cases where an accused person brings an offensive weapon “into play”.

After speaking with and hugging members of his family, Colgan was lead away to begin his life sentence.