Man charged with murdering Peter Butterly says his car broke down

Three Dublin men on trial at Special Criminal Court charged with murder of dissident republican

A man charged with murdering a dissident republican denied that clothes found in his car shortly after the shooting were a change of clothing for the killer.

He also said that he was stopped near the scene afterwards because his car had broken down.

Peter Butterly was shot dead in the car park of the Huntsman Inn, Gormanston, Co Meath around 2pm on March 6th, 2013.

Three Dublin men are on trial at the non-jury Special Criminal Court, charged with his murder.


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 have pleaded not guilty to murdering the 35-year-old father of two.

Evans and McGrath have also pleaded not guilty to firearm offences on the same occasion.

The court watched video of part of a Garda interview with Mr Kelly following his arrest that day on Flemington Road.

He told gardaí he had been driving from tending to his horse on Tubersool Lane, when his engine management light came on.

He said his car then conked out before he reached Flemington Road. He said that he got out, fiddled with wires for a few minutes and managed to restart it.

He said that was when the gardaí approached and arrested him.

The court earlier heard that he denied knowing anything about the murder or following the car used in the murder down Flemington Road. He denied it was his job to collect his two co-accused that day.

Mr Kelly was also asked about a complete change of clothing found in the boot of his car at the time. He said he didn’t know how it got there and denied that it was a change of clothes for Mr Butterly’s killer.

He said that the duvet cover over the rear seat was there to keep the car clean when collecting hay for his horse and not because he was ‘forensically aware’.

The court had already heard that a forensic scientist examined the clothing found in his boot.

Sandra McGrath testified that the DNA profile on a tracksuit top and bottoms matched that of Dean Evans.

Ms McGrath also examined other items found elsewhere during the investigation. These included a black balaclava, black gloves and a black wig.

She said that a DNA profile matching that of Mr Evans was found on the balaclava and the gloves, while a DNA profile matching Mr McGrath’s was found on the black wig.

The trial is in its 48th day. The prosecution evidence is expected to finish on Thursday before the three-judge court, with Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy presiding.