Man denies shooting woman in Limerick disco


A man accused of murdering a woman in a nightclub by shooting her told a jury in the Central Criminal Court yesterday he had nothing to do with the shooting.

Mr Mark Cronin (31), of Ballinacurra Weston, Limerick, denies murdering Ms Georgina O'Donnell (20), of St Mary's Park, Limerick, in the city on May 3rd, 1998. Mr Cronin also denies having a handgun with intent to endanger life at Lower Cecil Street, Limerick, on May 2nd, 1998. He told the court he had been to the nightclub with his wife that night and had witnessed trouble at the venue but was innocent of the crime of murder.

He said that as trouble broke out near to where he stood, somebody threw a bottle at him, which hit him in the face.

"I fell back, grabbed my mouth and sort of crouched down to the side," he said. "The bang came a couple of seconds later."

"It was just a bang, I don't know where it came from," he said.

"I decided to get out of there. I got hit with a bottle. I stumbled back and the first thing that came into my mind was it was a gunshot." He said he had experienced a "flashback" of a shooting he had witnessed some years earlier.

Asked by Mr Patrick Gageby SC, defending, if he attempted to conceal his identity from the bouncers with his sweatshirt, as he left the premises, he said he had not.

The prosecution claims Mr Cronin pointed a handgun at his wife, Ms Angela Collins, in the disco and opened fire, but shot Ms Georgina O'Donnell through the eye, from which she later died.

The case before Mr Justice Smith and a jury continues on Monday.