Murder trial is told man had knife for protection


A man accused of murder told a friend that he carried a knife "for protection", his trial has heard. Mr Alan Rooney (29), of Curran Park, Balbriggan, has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to murdering Mr David Hammond (24), also of Curran Park, in the Green, Pump Lane, in the town on April 27th, 1996.

It is alleged that Mr Hammond had been drinking with friends on the night of the incident and became involved in a fight with another man, and that Mr Rooney intervened, stabbing Mr Hammond with a kitchen knife.

On the second day of the trial yesterday formal statements by witnesses which are not contested by the defence were read into the court record.

A friend of Mr Rooney's, Mr Brendan O'Neill, said in his statement that on the night of April 26th he met the accused man, who said he wanted to discuss a letter he had got from his solicitor regarding a civil action he was taking.

Mr O'Neill said he brought Mr Rooney back to his house, arriving there at around 8.55 p.m. Mr Rooney hoped to receive a substantial settlement with which he wanted to open a business in the Temple Bar area of Dublin.

Mr O'Neill said he knew Mr Rooney carried a knife. The accused man had told him there were a few people in Balbriggan who disliked him, and the knife was for protection only because he was getting "a lot of hassle."

The trial continues today.