Limerick man accused of shooting woman dead in disco


A man shot a young woman through the eye with a handgun after he had a row with his wife in a Limerick disco, the jury was told at a murder trial which opened yesterday.

Mr Michael Durack SC, prosecuting, told the Central Criminal Court that Mr Mark Cronin pointed a handgun at his wife, Ms Angela Collins, but ended up shooting Ms Georgina O'Donnell through the eye. She died the next day.

Mr Cronin (31), of Hyde Avenue, Ballinacurra Weston, Limerick, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Ms O'Donnell (20) on May 3rd, 1998. He also denies having a handgun with intent to endanger life and unlawful possession of the handgun at Lower Cecil Street, Limerick.

Mr Durack told the court that Mr Cronin and his wife appeared to have had a turbulent relationship. He had not been home for some days and asked her to meet him in the Henry Cecil pub on the night of the shooting incident. She met him at around 9.30 p.m. and "some class of disagreement arose between them".

Between 12.30 and 1 a.m., at the disco upstairs, there was another disagreement which resulted in Ms Collins being head-butted by her husband. "Words were exchanged, and he left the disco in what appeared to be foul humour, indicating that he'd be back."

Ms Collins went down to see where her husband was but did not find him and returned to the disco. She was there chatting with her friends, including Georgina O'Donnell, around 2 a.m. when the lights came on and the disco was about to close.

Mark Cronin returned to the disco and walked through the crowd to where his wife and Ms O'Donnell were standing. He produced a small handgun, held it out, pointed it at his wife and fired it. He ended up shooting Ms O'Donnell through the eye and she died the next day, counsel said.

Having shot Ms O'Donnell, Mr Durack said, Mr Cronin went down the stairs and left. The gun was never found.

The trial continues today.