Murdered gangland figure Eamon Kelly died from multiple gunshot wounds to his back in a daytime shooting nine years ago, retired State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy has told the Special Criminal Court.
Father-of-nine Kelly (65) was shot four times as he walked towards his home in north Dublin in December of 2012. He was one of the country’s most well-known criminal figures, having been involved in organised crime for more than four decades.
The three-judge court is hearing the trial of Kenneth Donohoe and Darren Murphy, who are charged with murdering the criminal at Furry Park Road, Killester, on Dublin's north side, on December 4th, 2012.
Mr Donohoe (42), of Hazelgrove, Tallaght, Dublin 24, and Mr Murphy (50) of George's Place, Dublin 1, have both pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Both men have also pleaded not guilty to the possession of a firearm, a Glock pistol, with intent to endanger life, on the same date and at the same location.
In 2015, Sean Connolly, then aged 35, of Bernard Curtis House, Bluebell, Dublin was jailed for life by the Special Criminal Court for the murder of Kelly.
On Thursday Dr Cassidy told Dominic McGinn SC, prosecuting, that Kelly died of four gunshot wounds to his upper back when he was shot at around 4pm on December 4th, 2012.
Dr Cassidy told Mr McGinn that three of the bullets exited Kelly’s body from the chest and rib cage with one of them lodging in the shoulder area.
Dr Cassidy said she examined Kelly’s body on the day after the shooting and found that he had a large, gaping wound in his chest from medical intervention and that there was a large amount of blood present in his chest.
After the shooting, Kelly was taken to Beaumont Hospital by ambulance but was declared dead at 4.40pm that day.
on Thursday, Mr McGinn said that, in total, eight cartridges had been found at the scene by gardaí.
Dr Cassidy said that seven holes could be found on Kelly’s jacket but that three of the shots may have passed through the jacket without making contact with the victim’s body.
The witness said that Kelly sustained wounds to the back, chest, shoulder and lungs but had no brain, heart or head injuries.
Dr Cassidy said that her report concluded that the cause of death was four gunshot wounds to the back and that injuries to the left lung meant that a considerable amount of blood had gotten into Kelly’s airways.
The witness said that this blood entering the lungs would have had the same effect on Kelly as “choking” and that there was only a “very slim” chance of survival.
The court also heard from two Garda witnesses, Gda John Fitzgerald and Gda Brendan Davoren, who were first to respond to the shooting. They told Mr McGinn they saw Kelly lying on the footpath and believed that while he was unresponsive that he was still breathing before the arrival of the ambulance.
The trial continues at the non-jury court on Friday before Mr Justice Alexander Owens, presiding, sitting with Judge Sinead Ni Chulachain and Judge Dermot Dempsey.