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Witness recalls seeing his brother being stabbed four times by murder accused

Dublin Courts of Criminal Justice, where the trial is being heard
Dublin Courts of Criminal Justice, where the trial is being heard

A witness has told the trial of a Dublin man charged with murder that he saw his brother being stabbed four times by the accused man.

Craig O'Halloran (21) 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.

Taking to the stand today brother of the deceased, Stephen Kenny told Paul Greene SC prosecuting that on July 31st, 2013, he went to the pub with his brother and two friends.

"We were in the Old Dubliner," he said.

After moving on to Ruby Finnegan’s in Inchicore, Mr Kenny said he was met by a man called Robert Ellis.

"We got the first drinks. I went to the toilet and met Robert Ellis. He asked me my name and said: 'are you some kind of enemy of mine'. Kevin came in and I said: 'this guy thinks we are some kind of enemy'. Robert Ellis turned around and said: 'that's it, I'm going to get a shotgun' and he stormed out," said Mr Kenny.

"I was concerned and I left the toilet back through the lounge. I went to the front door to see where your man Ellis was and said: 'we're not any enemy of yours' and that he didn't need to go and do nothing. My brother Kevin was beside me and Robert Ellis approached me with his hand in his pocket," he continued. 

"He said: 'you'll see' coming closer - I thought he had a knife in his pocket - I made a flinch and he ran backwards and into the corner. That's when my brother Kevin chased him into the corner."

"Punches were thrown and a fight broke out. Mr Ellis ran down to the car park and out onto the main road. I seen Kevin chasing him up that road. I noticed a male Craig O'Halloran at the start of the green area," he said.

"I seen Craig O'Halloran and I knew he had a knife at this stage. He was running towards Kevin and Robert Ellis who were still fighting. I seen Craig O'Halloran stabbing my brother Kevin four times first in the upper left of the body - I seen him stab him four times in the same area," he said.

When asked how long the stabbing took, Mr Kenny replied: "literally five or ten seconds it was over".

"After my brother Kevin was stabbed four times, I went up to the green area to help him. When I went towards the green area, Craig O'Halloran turned towards me and chased me back towards the road," he said.

"Craig had the knife in his hand and he said: 'do you want some'. I was still sprinting back - I was after getting a shock. Kevin was coming back towards us."

Mr Kenny said that earlier, cars were driving up the road and he heard a woman's voice shouting out of the car: 'stab him'.

"I noticed Kevin running back - he fell on the ground. I helped Kevin up and that's when we ran back to the pub and there was shouting going on between both parties. My brother didn't have a clue what happened to him - he didn't realise that he had been stabbed," said Mr Kenny

"I remember shouting at him telling him: 'you're after being stabbed'. I called an ambulance. The colour went out of his face."

"I ran back up trying to talk to him telling him it was Stephen - his eyes were closed and he was finding it hard to breath," he said.

When asked how big the knife was, Mr Kenny said "the whole knife would have been six or seven inches long".

Prosecuting counsel asked how long it was before the ambulance arrived to which he replied "about 15 minutes".

Under cross examination by counsel for the defence, Giollaíosa Ó Lideadha SC, Mr Kenny was asked if in a statement made to gardai on August 1st, 2011 he had said that he saw "blood splashing out of Kevin".

"You were showing the jury how you saw the stabbing - you were raising your hand and your elbow level with your shoulder and extending your hand out to indicate the stabbing you saw," said Mr Ó Lideadha.

"I think in the statement you made to the guards, you said: 'when Craig stabbed Kevin I saw blood splashing out of Kevin'.

"Yeah I definitely did - four times," said Mr Kenny.

"You said: 'I then ran back towards Ruby’s - Kevin ran back as well and collapsed - blood was coming through his t-shirt'. Seconds before your brother collapsed, CCTV shows that your brother goes back to the entrance. As you run down the road you appear to be quite distant from him - you appear to be on the phone," said Mr Ó Lideadha.

"I suggest to you if you had seen a stabbing in the way you say, your behaviour on CCTV doesn't fit in with that. You would have been over at your brother."

The jury were shown CCTV footage by Garda Sharon Duncan showing the events leading to the death of Kevin Kenny.

Garda Duncan described "punches thrown" in the "struggle" followed by a group of people gathering around Kevin Kenny after he had collapsed to the ground.

The trial continues on Monday before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of five men and seven women.

- Anne Sharkey