Vincent Ryan shot dead seconds after daughter taken out of car, court told

Trial of two men accused of 25-year-old’s murder hears evidence from dead man’s partner

A 2013 file image of Vincent Ryan at the Special Criminal Court. Photograph: Collins Courts.

A 2013 file image of Vincent Ryan at the Special Criminal Court. Photograph: Collins Courts.

 

A woman has told a murder trial of the moment her partner was shot dead outside her home seconds after she had taken their five-week-old daughter inside.

Kelly Smyth on Wednesday gave evidence in the Central Criminal Court trial of two men charged with murdering her partner Vincent Ryan at McKee Road in Finglas, Dublin on February 29th, 2016.

Paul O’Beirne (36), of Colepark Drive, Ballyfermot, and Jeffrey Morrow (37), of Burnell Court, Coolock, have pleaded not guilty to murdering the 25-year-old.

Ms Smyth told prosecution counsel Paul Burns SC that she, Mr Ryan and their daughter drove from his home in Donaghmede to her house in Finglas along the M50, stopping at a Centra in Poppintree en route, on the day.

He pulled the white VW Golf they were travelling in up outside the house and Ms Smyth got out with her daughter before asking Mr Ryan to move the car off the grass.

Ms Smyth’s brother opened the door of the house and she went inside. She then heard five loud bangs seconds after the door closed.

She and her brother went outside and saw the car windows were smashed and that Mr Ryan had been seriously injured. She said she did not notice anyone leaving the area as he focus was on her partner.

She checked Mr Ryan for a pulse and her brother, who has training in first aid, also checked for a pulse and called an ambulance. Ms Smyth told Mr Burns that she spoke to Mr Ryan to try to keep him conscious while they waited for the emergency services.

Assault

Ms Smyth told Mr Burns that Mr Ryan was a barber but had not worked since October 2015 after being assaulted outside the Rotunda Hospital.

On the day of the shooting, she said she did not notice anyone following them and that she would normally “have a little look around” because she was “a bit conscious and paranoid” following the assault.

Ms Smyth’s brother, Keith Smyth, told Mr Burns that he arrived home about 15 minutes before his sister that day. He said he was playing with the baby when he heard “screeching and then bangs that sounded like gunshots”.

“Instinctively I knew something had happened,” he said.

Mr Smyth said he saw a “grey looking car” going down the road which was the same type as Mr Ryan’s VW Golf. He did not get the registration number or see who was in the car.

Mr Smyth said he tried to calm his sister but the scene was hectic and people were in shock. “I was panicking myself,” he said. “My head was in so many places.”

He told the court that he tried to help his sister and Mr Ryan and could remember being in the car with the deceased when someone said they would take over from here.

Under cross-examination, Mr Smyth agreed with Michael O’Higgins SC for Mr Morrow that the event was “very distressing” and there was “shock, panic and chaos”.

“There was screaming and so much going on. I was there with my sister and family trying to make sure everything was ok.”

Bleeding

Dr Edmund Carton told Mr Burns he was working in the emergency department at the Mater Hospital when Mr Ryan was brought in. He was bleeding heavily from wounds to the head and shoulder.

He said that despite “extensive efforts” to treat him, Mr Ryan’s condition continued to worsen and he was pronounced dead at 9.10pm that day.

Lorcan Buckley, a neighbour of the Smyth’s on McKee Road, told Mr Burns he was at home with his wife and children at about 3pm when he heard what he thought were 12 or 13 gunshots “very quick like”.

He heard a “screech of tyres” and then a scream.

“I told the kids to get on the ground and I went to the front door. I could see the white car and people screaming. People were around the white car and I went over because they are my neighbours.”

He saw Mr Ryan in the driver’s seat and Mr Smyth trying to help him.

“There was nothing I could do,” he said.

The trial continues in front of Mr Justice Michael White and a jury of four women and eight men.