Man who shot his uncle initially told detectives a gunman had come 'out of nowhere'

Accused: David Cully
Accused: David Cully

A man, who shot his uncle dead after a fist fight between two other people, initially told Gardaí that a gunman had come ‘out of nowhere’ and shot him.

A jury heard the evidence yesterday in the trial of David Cully, who has admitted killing his uncle, Edward O’Connor, by shooting him in his back.

The 24-year-old has claimed that he shot his uncle ‘in the heat of the moment’ after Mr O’Connor made a comment about somebody who had made an allegation of sexual abuse against him (the deceased). The court has already heard that the allegation was investigated, but the DPP had decided not to prosecute.

The father-of-one of Kilshane Road, Finglas West has pleaded not guilty to murdering the 41-year-old but guilty to his manslaughter 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 that he and two colleagues took Mr Cully to Blanchardstown Garda Station following his arrest on the morning after the shooting.

He said that the accused made an assertion as they arrived at the garda station.

“To be honest with you, I’ll tell you the truth,” said Mr Cully, according to the detective.

“After the fight, a gunman came around the corner out of nowhere and shot him,” he continued. “That’s it.”

However, the court heard that Mr Cully later admitted bringing a gun to the fist fight and shooting his uncle afterwards.

The detective said he told Gardaí that he had arranged the fist fight between Edward O’Connor’s son, Darren O’Connor, and another man that day.

He told officers that, after arranging the fight, he went to collect a gun from Dunsink tip head, where he had noticed one days earlier. He said he then collected his cousin’s opponent and drove to the fight.

“I thought we were going to be set up and get a hiding,” he said in interview, but denied intending to use the gun if this happened.

He said that he had never held a firearm before but knew how to shoot and reload the gun from watching films and from clay pigeon shooting.

He said that he was on his way back to his car following the fight, when his uncle turned and spoke to him.

The accused claimed that his uncle said: ‘Tell the red pox I was asking for her,’ in reference to the person who had made the allegation of sexual abuse.

“I got enraged by the sex allegations,” he said. “I fired at his legs. I’d no intention of killing him. I’d no intention of shooting anyone up there.”

Gardaí put it to him that it was a premeditated and pre-orchestrated event and that it was his intention to murder his uncle. He denied this.

“You shot a man, who was running away from you,” suggested the detectives.

“We were walking away from each other, when he said what he said,” replied the accused.

The detectives suggested that his response to his uncle’s comment, with a loaded firearm was excessive.

“It was too much,” said one detective.

Mr Cully repeated that he had not meant to kill him.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Carroll Moran and the jury of seven women and five men.