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Man accused of murder admits firing shots that killed man in Dublin

The trial began at the Central Criminal Court today
The trial began at the Central Criminal Court today

A 33-year-old man on trial, charged with murder, has admitted firing the shots that killed a man in Dublin City in 2014.

Seán Ducque, of no fixed abode, went on trial at the Central Criminal Court this morning, charged with murdering Kieran Farrelly on 26th October 2014 at Killarney Court, Killarney Street.

He has pleaded not guilty. However, as the trial got under way, his barrister, Hugh O’Keeffe SC, stood up to make an admission.

“The accused, Seán Ducque, admits that on 26th October 2014, he fired two shots from a shotgun, later found on Mabbot Lane, which killed Kieran Farrelly,” he said.

Dominic McGinn SC then opened the case on behalf of the State, explaining that the prosecution case was that Mr Farrelly was murdered.

He said that residents of Killarney Court had heard two distinct bangs and some shouting around 11.30 that night. On looking out, they saw a male lying on grass with another male standing over him.

He said the prosecution case was that this was the accused standing over Kieran Farrelly.

Emergency services arrived and found Mr Farrelly’s body, continued Mr McGinn. He had sustained two gunshot wounds: one to the chest and one to the left eye socket. A search of the area turned up a discharged shotgun cartridge.

The State Pathologist confirmed that Mr Farrelly had died of the two shotgun injuries, he said.

She had noted that the chest wound was inflicted first. This would have resulted in him collapsing to the ground before the eye wound was inflicted at ‘fairly close range’.

Mr McGinn said that the accused was located shortly after 6am in nearby Mabbot Lane. A sawn-off, double barreled shotgun was found in a wheelie bin on the lane, along with another discharged cartridge.

Analysis of the gun found that Mr Farrelly’s trunk wound compared with a test shot from two to three metres away, and that the eye wound compared with a shot from a distance of a metre or less.

“There’s an admission he did fire those two shots,” said Mr McGinn. “Mr Ducque has accepted that it was he who fired the shots. Nevertheless the prosecution have to prove he’s guilty of murder.”

He explained that one of the elements that had to be proven was that the accused had  intended to kill or seriously injure the deceased.

“If the intention is less than that, it would be manslaughter,” he said, explaining that the jury would have to ask itself what Mr Ducque’s intentions were.

“In this case, the prosecution says that when you use a shotgun to shoot someone at close range twice, the natural and probable consequences are that, at the very least, you’re going to cause him serious harm,” he said. “And therefore, you’re entitled to presume that he intended to kill or cause serious injury.”

The trial continues this afternoon before Mr Justice Paul Butler and a jury of six men and six women.

It’s expected to last two weeks.