Man (20) charged with manslaughter following death in Kerry at weekend

Stephen O’Connor died after incident outside fast food outlet in Killorglin on Sunday night

The man, who is  in his 20s is scheduled to appear before Killarney District Court. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

The man, who is in his 20s is scheduled to appear before Killarney District Court. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

 

A 20-year-old man has man been charged with the manslaughter of 32-year-old Stephen O’Connor whose funeral took place in his Glencar, Co Kerry Friday morning.

Christian Fleming of Mount Lyne, Killorglin appeared before a sitting of Killarney District Court, charged with unlawfully killing Mr O’Connor contrary to Common Law on February 10th, at Main Street, Killorglin.

Mr O’Connor, a single man from Glencar, was fatally injured at about 2.30am last Sunday in an alleged assault outside a fast food outlet in Killorglin.

He was treated at the scene of the attack by paramedics before being taken to University Hospital Kerry in Tralee to Cork with serious head injuries.

Mr O’Connor was later transferred to Cork University Hospital where he died on Monday night.

The court was told Mr Fleming works as a bartender in a Killarney hotel. Garda Sgt Michael Quirke of Killorglin Garda station gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution at 12.23am on Friday.

The accused made no reply to the charge, Sgt Quirke said. The gardaí objected to bail on a number of grounds including the seriousness of the charge, the likely sentence on conviction - for which the maximum sentence is life - and the nature and strength of the evidence which includes CCTV footage, Sgt Quirke said.

The garda also believed Mr Fleming posed a threat to the community, given the nature of the alleged crime.

Solicitor Brendan Ahern, for the accused, put it to Sgt Quirke his client had co-operated fully at all stages including during a Garda search under warrant of the family home on Sunday.

He had also attended by appointment for interview at 9.30am on Thursday. Mr Ahern said his client had put forward what could be construed as “a certain defence to the charge” and Sgt Quirke agreed.

Mr Ahern put it to Sgt Quirke about the clarity of the CCTV evidence. However, Judge David Waters said the bail application was not to go into specifics on the nature of the evidence. The solicitor said the CCTV was “quite restricted”.

Sgt Quirke agreed with Mr Ahern the accused came from a good family who were in court and there would be no flight risk.

Mr Ahern said his client would be willing to sign on daily at Killorglin Garda station, be contactable at all times and he had €2,000 in court to be paid over as a cash bond.

He had handed over his passport and phone to gardaí, the court was told. Judge David Waters said the accused would be entitled to bail on very strict conditions. He remanded Mr Fleming on bail on his own bond of €6,000 – €2,000 of which was lodged in court.

He is also to observe a curfew between 11pm and 8am and on nights he is not working, the curfew will be between 8pm and 8am. He is to be of sober habits and to have no contact “direct or indirect” with the victim’s family or with any witnesses.

He is to sign on daily at Killorglin Garda station between 9am and 9pm, reside at Mount Lyne, Killorglin and notify the gardaí of any change at any stage.

The judge made it a formal condition that he hand in his passport. Judge Waters said it was to be brought to the court’s attention “immediately” if there was a breach of bail. Legal aid was granted by Judge Waters after hearing gardaí had no objection. Mr Fleming has been remanded on bail to appear again before Killarney District Court on Tuesday next, February 19th. During the proceedings the accused, Mr Fleming, at times had his head in his hands and appeared to weep.