Widow of man shot dead becomes emotional describing moment she heard of shooting

CourtsBy Natasha Reid
David Cully, 24, is charged with murdering his uncle, Edward O’Connor, by shooting him twice
David Cully, 24, is charged with murdering his uncle, Edward O’Connor, by shooting him twice

A widow became emotional in court today as she gave evidence of hearing that her husband had been shot.

Charlotte O’Connor entered the witness box on the fifth day of their nephew’s murder trial at the Central Criminal Court.

David Cully, 24, is charged with murdering his uncle, Edward O’Connor, by shooting him twice. He has admitted manslaughter, telling Gardaí he ‘lost it’ after Mr O’Connor made a comment about someone who had made an allegation of sexual abuse against him (the deceased).

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

Mrs O’Connor testified that her husband had received a call from the accused shortly after 4pm that day. She said he told her that Mr Cully wanted to organise a fist fight to sort out a row that had broken out between their son, Darren O’Connor, and another man the night before.

She said that both father and son left the house with other male family members. She received a text from one of these shortly before 5pm, asking her to ring him quickly.

“I rang him back and he said: ‘Somebody’s been shot’,” she recalled, becoming emotional. “I said who. He said: ‘It’s Eddie’.”

She said it took her just minutes to get from their home to the scene.

“Eddie was lying on the ground and the family was around him,” she said. “He wasn’t speaking. He wasn’t really breathing. He was just cold.”

She said she followed the ambulance to the hospital, where she was told her husband had passed away shortly before 6pm.

Earlier, Darren O’Connor agreed that he, himself, was facing a firearms charge but denied that there was ‘a history of firearms’ in the family. The 24-year-old was being cross examined by the defence.

He had testified on Monday that he saw his cousin shoot his father in the back following an arranged fist fight at his grandparents’ property.

Darren O’Connor explained that he had been close to the accused until the family was torn apart when another person made an allegation of sexual abuse against the deceased. Gardaí had investigated and the DPP had decided not to prosecute.

He said he took part in a ‘straightener’ with a man linked to the accused that Sunday at his grandparents’ yard near his home. He said that Mr Cully shot his father as they were leaving the yard after the fight.

Under cross examination yesterday by Caroline Biggs SC, defending, he denied that that there was a ‘history of firearms in the family’.

He said that he was not aware of two firearms being found on rough ground behind his home in April 2002. He also said that he was not aware that a weapon had been found in Dunsink tip and made available to his father.

He denied ever seeing a gun produced in his home when he was young.

“I think you, yourself, are facing a charge of being in possession of a firearm in the course of a robbery in July, 2013,” suggested Ms Biggs.

“Allegedly, yeah,” he said.

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