"I never fired a gun before. I don’t know how I even managed to get him"

CourtsBy Natasha Reid
Shot: Edward O'Connor
Shot: Edward O'Connor

A man told Gardaí that he shot his uncle dead ‘in the heat of the moment’ after his uncle made a comment about somebody who had made an allegation of sexual abuse against him (the deceased).

David Cully (24) has admitted the manslaughter of his uncle, Edward O’Connor, by shooting him in his back.

However, Mr Cully of Kilshane Road, Finglas West has pleaded not guilty to murdering the 41-year-old at Ballycoolin Road, Finglas West on Sunday, December 15 2013.

He is currently on trial at the Central Criminal Court.

Detective Sergeant Gavin Ross testified today that he had arrested Mr Cully on Abbottstown Drive, Finglas the morning after the shooting.

He said that Mr Cully told investigators that he had gone to Dunsink tip head that Sunday morning to see if a firearm he’d found two days earlier was still there. It was, but he said he didn’t even know if it was working.

He said that ‘a straightener’ was then arranged between the deceased man’s son, Darren O’Connor, and a man connected both to the accused and the sexual abuse complainant. This fist fight took place at a yard at Ballycoolin Road.

“We were all leaving the yard… Edward Snr ran ahead,” he said.

He said that the deceased had told him to ‘tell the red pox I was asking for her’, referring to the complainant.

“He said that to rile me up,” he said.

“I just fired the gun at him,” he recalled.

“I have a small bit of hatred against him after the sex allegation,” he explained.

He said that he later smashed and cut up the gun, which was mostly plastic.

The Gardaí told him they could see that he was upset.

“It was like I just went blank. I never fired a gun before. I don’t know how I even managed to get him,” he said.

“I had no intention of killing him,” he added.

“When he said that, I grinded my teeth. It hurt me a lot when he said it. I turned and shot him,” he said. “It wasn’t something I’d planned… It happened in the heat of the moment.”

At the end of the interview, he was asked if he wanted to add anything.

“I’d like to apologise to all members of Edward O’Connor’s family,” he said.

Earlier, the deceased man’s teenaged son described the moment that the accused shot his father following the fist fight.

Edward O’Connor Jnr (18) testified that he, his father and some other male relatives had attended the ‘straightener’ that day.

He said that he had tried to kick his brother’s opponent during the fight because ‘he was biting Darren like a dog’.

“David Cully took out a black handgun and let a shot up into the air,” he said, explaining that the fight then stopped for a moment before resuming for a short time.

Mr O’Connor said that both opponents shook hands afterwards.

“We were walking out the gate and David shot my Da,” he recalled.

He explained that he hadn’t seen this shot, but looked around when he heard the bang and saw his father run across the road.

“David Cully fired four or five more shots,” he said.

The trial continues in legal argument before Mr Justice Carroll Moran tomorrow morning and will resume on Monday before the jury of seven women and five men.