Dundon trial told Geoghegan was the unintended victim

Court hears witness will say Dundon ordered the killing of John McNamara

File image of John Dundon

File image of John Dundon


Garryowen rugby player Shane Geoghegan was the unintended victim of a shooting that was meant for another man and was ordered by John Dundon, the Special Criminal Court was told today.

Opening the trial, barrister Tom O’Connell told the court it was the prosecution case that Mr Geoghegan was the unintended victim of a shooting and the actual target was a man named John McNamara, who lived close by the deceased in the Limerick suburb of Clonmore.

Mr O’Connell said the court would hear from key prosecution witness April Collins, who would give evidence that Mr Dundon ordered another man, Barry Doyle, to kill Mr McNamara.

He said April Collins would tell the court that she heard Mr Dundon give Barry Doyle a description of Mr McNamara and say “everything was prepared, the gun and the car”.

Mr Dundon (30), with a last address at Hyde Road, Limerick, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of 28-year-old Mr Geoghegan at Clonmore, Kilteragh, Dooradoyle, Limerick, on November 9th, 2008.

The non-jury court heard medical evidence that head injuries suffered by Mr Dundon, which caused the adjournment of the trial on Tuesday, were “superficial”.

An application to have a new solicitor and barrister appointed for Mr Dundon, who on Tuesday informed the court he was illiterate in response to evidence that he had sacked his legal team and elected to represent himself, was also acceded to by the court.

Mr O’Connell said on the night of the shooting Mr Geoghegan was watching television in the house of a friend who lived across a green area from the home Mr Geoghegan shared with his girlfriend Jenna Barry.

Ms Barry said she received a text message from Shane at 12:54am indicating that he would be home shortly. This, Mr O’Connell said, was the last she heard from her partner.

Shortly afterwards Ms Barry heard shots and looked out to see a man in a navy hoody run towards a car, which looked to her like a navy people carrier, and “hop in” through a sliding door.

Mr O’Connell said at the same time other people in the estate heard shots and screaming and saw the getaway car leave the estate. Gardaí were called at 1.06am .

Mr O’Connell said a postmortem showed the deceased suffered five gunshot wounds to his head and trunk.

He said a gunshot wound to the right side of the back suggesting a bullet trajectory “steeping downwards”, meaning it could have been inflicted while Mr Geoghegan was bending or crouching down toward his attacker.

Counsel said the court would hear evidence from Ms Collins, who at the time of the shooting was in a relationship with Gerard Dundon, a brother of the accused man, and had three children with him.

Ms Collins will tell the court that in her presence John Dundon ordered Mr Doyle to kill Mr McNamara, who lived in the Clonmore estate.

She heard John Dundon give Mr Doyle a description of Mr McNamara and say that “everything was prepared, the gun and the car”. The witness will tell the court that early on the morning of the shooting, she and Gerard Dundon drove to a pub car-park to meet Barry Doyle and John Dundon, who telephoned another man to say that “John Mac” was dead.

Mr O’Connell said Ms Collins would give evidence that when John Dundon received the information that another person had been killed, he got angry with Mr Doyle, who replied: “It is him, he’s big”.

Presiding judge Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns adjourned the trial until Monday.