Trial of men accused of murdering republican Peter Butterly collapses

Dean Evans, Edward McGrath and Sharif Kelly to face retrial, judge rules

 Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy said the court had come to its decision “with huge regret due to the time and expense involved in the trial”.

Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy said the court had come to its decision “with huge regret due to the time and expense involved in the trial”.

 

The 55-day-long trial of three men charged with murdering dissident republican Peter Butterly has collapsed at the Special Criminal Court, after a failure in evidence disclosure.

Presiding judge Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy said the non-jury court had concluded the appropriate order was to discharge itself as a jury and order a retrial of Dean Evans (24), Edward McGrath (33) and Sharif Kelly (44).

Mr Evans, of Grange Park Rise, Raheny, Mr McGrath, of Land Dale Lawns, Springfield, Tallaght and Mr Kelly, of Pinewood Green Road, Balbriggan had pleaded not guilty to murdering the 35-year-old father of two.

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

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

After one of the longest-running trials in the Special Criminal Court, Ms Justice Murphy said the court had come to its decision “with huge regret due to the time and expense involved in the trial”.

The court delivered its ruling following the disclosure of previously privileged material contained in a statement given by 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.