Date set for retrial over dissident republican's murder

Three men accused of shooting Peter Butterly in a Meath car park to stand trial in January 2017

The Special Criminal Court on Tuesday fixed a date in January 2017 for the retrial of three men accused of the murder of dissident republican Peter Butterly who was shot dead in the car park of the Huntsman Inn, Gormanston, Co Meath in 2013.

Dean Evans (24), of Grange Park Rise, Raheny, Edward McGrath (33) of Land Dale Lawns, Springfield Tallaght and Sharif Kelly (44), of Pinewood Green Road, Balbriggan are charged with the murder of the 35-year-old father of two.

Mr Evans and Mr McGrath are also charged with firearm offences on the same occasion. The 55-day-long trial of the three men collapsed at the Special Criminal Court last month after a failure in evidence disclosure.

Peter Butterly was shot dead in the car park of the Huntsman Inn, Gormanston, Co Meath around 2pm on March 6th, 2013. On Tuesday Mr Justice Paul Butler, presiding at the non jury court, fixed January 12th, 2017 as the date for the retrial of the three men.


The court ordered a retrial following the disclosure of previously privileged material contained in a statement given by chief prosecution witness David Cullen to gardaí in July 2013.

David Cullen (30), with a last address in Balbriggan, was allegedly “part of the murder plan himself” but turned State’s witness against his former co-accused.

Gardaí and the Prison Service put extra security arrangements in place for Cullen's evidence during the trial, which caused long queues to form outside the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin.

Cullen has already been dealt with by the court for lesser offences and is currently serving a three-and-half-year prison sentence. He had given evidence at the trial implicating the three.

The trial which began in July last year heard that Mr Butterly was ‘lured’ to the pub’s car park on th 6th of March 2013 by another man not before the court. Shots were discharged at Mr Butterly’s vehicle. Further shots were discharged when he attempted to flee his car. He was found by a lone garda collapsed in a corner of the car park and was pronounced dead a short time later.