Court evidence | 

Eamon Kelly murder trial shown gun believed to be used in shooting of gangland veteran

Father-of-nine Kelly (65) was shot four times in the back as he walked towards his home in north Dublin in December of 2012
Murdered: Eamon Kelly

Murdered: Eamon Kelly

Paul Neilan

The handgun alleged to have been used in the murder of gangland figure Eamon Kelly was produced in evidence today at the Special Criminal Court.

Father-of-nine Kelly (65) was shot four times in the back as he walked towards his home in north Dublin in December of 2012. He was one of the country’s most well-known criminal figures, having been involved in organised crime for more than four decades.

The three-judge court is hearing the trial of Kenneth Donohoe and Darren Murphy, who are charged with murdering Kelly at Furry Park Road, Killester, on Dublin’s northside, on December 4, 2012. Mr Donohoe (42), of Hazelgrove, Tallaght, Dublin 24, and Mr Murphy (50) of George's Place, Dublin 1, have both pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Both men have also pleaded not guilty to the possession of a firearm, a Glock pistol, with intent to endanger life, on the same date and at the same location.

In 2015, Sean Connolly, then aged 35, of Bernard Curtis House, Bluebell, Dublin, was jailed for life by the Special Criminal Court for the murder of veteran criminal Kelly.

Retired State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy has told the trial that Kelly died of four gunshot wounds to his upper back when he was attacked at around 4pm on December 4, 2012.

Today at the Special Criminal Court, a Garda ballistics specialist giving evidence from the witness box held up what the prosecution say is the weapon used in the murder of Kelly.

Dominic McGinn SC, prosecuting, asked for the weapon to be introduced into evidence in the trial.

Detective Garda Marc Collender told Mr McGinn that he had carried out tests on a Glock 9mm semi-automatic pistol at the Garda Technical Bureau when it was received by him in 2013.

Mr McGinn asked the witness to describe the weapon to the court and if there was anything noticeable about the gun.

The witness said that the serial number on the gun had been deliberately removed and that the magazine could hold 15 rounds of 9mm ammunition. "It was not accidental," he told Mr McGinn, of the missing serial numbers.

Det Gda Collender said that the black pistol measured 186mm in length and fired ammunition 9mm in diameter and 19mm in length.

The detective said that, when fired, spent casings were ejected from the breech of the weapon at a 90-angle to the direction in which it was pointed and that these casings could travel "two-to-three" metres from the gun.

The witness said that he also carried out analysis of eight ammunition spent casings found at the scene on Furry Park Road.

Det Gda Collender said that the "distinct markings" found on the casings from the scene matched the markings made by the pistol on ammunition he used in testing the weapon.

"I am satisfied all the casings came from this Glock," Det Gda Collender told Mr McGinn, holding up the lethal weapon in the witness box.

The detective said he concluded that the casings found at the scene were fired from the Glock, which he said was unloaded and in good condition when it was presented to him.

Det Gda Collander found that six of the eight casings came from a large multinational arms manufacturer, while one each came from the former Yugoslavia and Italy.

Wearing blue latex gloves,  Brendan Grehan SC, defending, held the unloaded gun himself in the court when inspecting it and asked if there were "unique identifiers" on the weapon.

The witness told Mr Grehan that even though Glock pistols were "very common", each Glock left unique identifying markings on ammunition when fired that could be seen when examined by microscope technology.

Counsel asked if each Glock, therefore, was different and identifiable. The witness replied that they were.

Mr Grehan asked the detective if there were also "rip-offs" of Glocks in circulation and was told that there were.

Former Detective Sergeant Gary Kelly said that he arrested Mr Donohoe on December 8, 2012, after obtaining a search warrant for an address at Sundale Drive Avenue in Tallaght the day before.

Det Sgt Kelly told Mr McGinn that he arrived at the address shortly after 6.30am and went to the upstairs bedroom to arrest Mr Donohoe on suspicion of possessing a firearm at Furry Park Road on December 4, 2012, and of being a member of the IRA, a proscribed organisation.

Garda Stephen Donnelly of Raheny Garda Station who processed Mr Donohoe at the station said that Mr Donohoe understood his detention terms but refused to sign a custody record.

Gda Donnelly told Mr McGinn that he arranged for a phone call with a solicitor for Mr Donohoe and called a doctor after the defendant told him he had been injured during his arrest.

Mr Grehan asked Gda Donnelly, when he was the member in charge during the defendant's detention, if anyone had mentioned to him that the prisoner, Mr Donohoe, wanted to speak "off-tape" and was told "no" by Gda Donnelly.

Detective Sergeant Colm Reilly said that he attended the scene at Furry Park Road on the day of the shooting and recovered the eight cartridges from two locations on the road outside two houses a few doors apart.

Det Sgt Reilly said he also recovered a gold chain, a lighter and Kelly's clothes which were lying on the ground after medics attempted to intervene.

Det Sgt Reilly said that one of three cars that the prosecution alleges was used in the murder, an Opel Meriva, contained an imitation firearm, designed to look like a Browning-model semi-automatic.

The detective told Mr McGinn that the imitation found in the boot of the car, was dismantled into different parts and was never capable of being fired.

The detective said that three pairs of blue gloves and three sleeping bags were also found in the car, which was swabbed for DNA, fibre, fingerprint and firearm residue evidence.

The trial continues at the three, non-jury court before Mr Justice Alexander Owens, presiding, sitting with Judge Sinéad Ní Chúlacháin and Judge Dermot Dempsey.

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