Judges to consider verdict on Dundon

Defendant pleads not guilty to murder of rugby player Shane Geoghegan, shot in case of mistaken identity

MrJustice Nicholas Kearns: presided over the trial at the Special Criminal Court.  Photograph: Eric Luke

MrJustice Nicholas Kearns: presided over the trial at the Special Criminal Court. Photograph: Eric Luke

 

A court has been told John Dundon’s carelessness in describing a man he wanted killed caused the death of innocent rugby player Shane Geoghegan.

The Special Criminal Court heard closing submissions from both sides yesterday in the trial of the man accused of murdering the Garryowen player in Limerick almost five years ago.

Mr Geoghegan (28) was gunned down in a case of mistaken identity as he returned home to his girlfriend in Dooradoyle at about 1am on November 9th, 2008. He died of gunshot wounds just metres from his home at Clonmore, Kilteragh.

Mr Dundon (30), of Hyde Road in Limerick, has pleaded not guilty to his murder.

Seán Guerin, prosecuting, reminded the non-jury court that gunman Barry Doyle had moved to Limerick just a couple of months before the killing; it would have been difficult for him to know what Mr Dundon’s target, John McNamara, looked like.

Mr Guerin noted the evidence April Collins gave of Mr Dundon ordering Doyle to kill McNamara and the description he gave of the target. “The lack of precision in that description is what made it possible for someone else to be killed,” he said.

Mr Guerin drew the court’s attention to CCTV footage, which showed Mr Dundon and Doyle together the week before the killing.

Cell site analysis
He also said cell site analysis confirmed the evidence April Collins gave of Mr Dundon ringing a man, Philip Collopy, that morning to tell him John McNamara was dead.

He said Ms Collins also provided corroboration for the evidence of two other witnesses: Christopher McCarthy and Ms Collins’s sister, Lisa Collins.

Brendan Nix SC, defending, asked the three judges several rhetorical questions.

He asked if they believed April Collins had not done a deal to avoid going to jail after pleading guilty to threatening a woman in an unrelated case. The court had heard she received a suspended sentence about a month after giving her statement about Mr Geoghegan’s murder.

Mr Nix asked if it was a coincidence that her statement against his client coincided with her “bust up” with his brother, her former partner Ger Dundon.

High Court president Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns presiding said the court would deliver its decision on Tuesday.