Jury in trial of Dublin man charged with murder told evidence given by deceased's brother cannot be relied upon

CourtsBy Neil Fetherston
Jury in trial of Dublin man charged with murder told evidence given by deceased's brother cannot be relied upon

Defence lawyers have told the jury in the trial of a Dublin man charged with murder they can be satisfied that the evidence given by a brother of the deceased cannot be relied upon.

Craig O'Halloran (22) with an address at Heathfield, Dublin Road in Portlaoise and originally from Colepark Road in Ballyfermot, is charged with murdering Kevin Kenny (32) at the Sarsfield Road in Ballyfermot on July 31st, 2011.
Mr O'Halloran has pleaded not guilty to the charge and is currently on trial at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin.
It is the states case that Craig O'Halloran is responsible for the unlawful killing of Kevin Kenny outside Ruby Finnegans pub in Inchicore.
In his closing speech today (Monday), Mr Giollaíosa Ó Lideadha SC defending, said that Stephen Kenny's evidence has not been reliable.
"When you look back on what Stephen Kenny and Sara Burke said, I submit that the only way you can tell if they are being accurate is by testing it against other material," he said.
Earlier this month (March 20), brother of the deceased, Stephen Kenny gave evidence that he saw Craig O'Halloran  stabbing his brother Kevin four times in the upper left part of the body.
Sara Burke gave evidence (March 23), that se had seen Craig O'Halloran with a flick knife.  
"Tests on material given to us has equally show that they haven't been reliable. I ask that you apply your own sense of fairness in judging whether you can rely on the evidence of these witnesses," he continued.
Speaking about statements made by brother of the deceased following July 31st, 2011, Mr Ó Lideadha said that Mr Kenny changed his statement from a knife being handed out from a car to hearing the words "stab him, stab him" coming from the car.
"Stephen Kenny himself said (in garda interview) that he heard a car pull up and that a knife might have been handed out," he said.
"In a later statement he heard shouting out "stab him, stab him". You can't make a statement the day after your brother has been stabbed saying that a car pulled up and leave out the girls saying "stab him, stab him", continued Mr Ó Lideadha.
"It doesn't matter what Stephen Kenny and Kevin Kenny intended outside the pub -  nobody deserves what happened to Kevin Kenny."
"He (Stephen Kenny) said something incorrect to you about the gestures - about who threw the first punch. You are entitled to come to the conclusion that he deliberately did not tell the truth. From seeing the evidence, you know he is not reliable in his allegations," he said.
"The main thing is the pathology and the CCTV - in my submission Stephen Kenny didn't see what he said (he saw) in evidence."
"Sara Burke has accepted that gardai made it clear to her they were interested in Craig O'Halloran. In important matters, Sara Burke was clear and asserted things that have been proved to be wrong," he said.
"I suggest there are three ways you can look at this case - first by way of a conviction and that Stephen Kenny's evidence is evidence you can rely on."
"The other extreme would be to find as a positive proposition that Craig O'Halloran is almost certainly innocent. The third is to find a middle ground," he said.
"There will be no victors in this case with a not guilty verdict - it isn't gonna bring back the deceased in this case - it would be an absolute and total relief," he concluded.
Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy began his charge before the jury of five men and seven women.