Wednesday, March 08, 2023

Paul Neilan

A garda has told an attempted murder trial of the moment he was called to the scene of a seriously distressed 17-year-old boy who had been shot multiple times on a Dublin street.

A local resident also told the Central Criminal Court on Wednesday of how a stray bullet from the attack passed through his front door and ended up smashing his oven glass.

The Central Criminal Court has heard that the shooting occurred at a residential street on Dublin’s south side in 2021 in what was a “well-planned and premeditated hit”, according to the prosecution.

The victim, who was 17 at the time of the shooting, suffered life-threatening injuries at Eugene Street, Dublin 8, at around 10.55pm on the night of February 24th, 2021.

The male teenager was shot in the neck, cheek and leg after he got into a taxi outside a Eugene Street address. He was later taken to St James’ Hospital, where he underwent surgery after scans revealed the bullets had passed through his body.

The two accused men, Stephen Mulvey (31) and Jamie Berry (27), both formerly of Leo Fitzgerald House, Dublin 2, are both accused of the attempted murder of the now 19-year-old at Eugene Street and possession of a firearm, a Beretta pistol, with intent to endanger life on the night of 24th February 2021.

Mr Berry is also accused of criminal damage to a home on Eugene Street on the same night, where it is alleged that a bullet he fired passed through the front door, an internal wall and smashed through the glass of an oven cooker where it lodged.

Both men have pleaded not guilty to all charges.

State of distress

Garda Sergeant Michael Martin said he was called to the scene at around 11pm on the night and that Dublin Fire Brigade was already in attendance.

Gda Sgt Martin told Ms Brennan that he went to the injured party, who was lying on the ground in a “serious state of distress” from what Dublin Fire Brigade paramedics tending to the teenager told him were “three or four gunshot wounds”.

The sergeant told Ms Brennan that he knelt down beside the victim to ascertain his condition and asked him if he knew who had shot him. The guard said the teenager indicated to him that he did not know.

Gda Sgt Martin then escorted an ambulance to St James’ Hospital and was later told by a surgeon that a CT scan revealed that there were no bullets in the injured party’s body.

Garda David Corcoran, who was attached to Kevin Street Garda Station, told Ms Brennan that he got a call about the shooting in its immediate aftermath and then, less than a minute later, another call about a car on fire at Greenville Avenue.

Gda Corcoran said he and a colleague diverted to Greenville Avenue where he said they witnessed a Hyundai i30 “completely engulfed in flames”.

“There was a bang from the car and a wiper flew past us and hit a wall,” said Gda Corcoran, who added that Dublin Fire Brigade soon arrived and extinguished the flames.

“When the car cooled off we were able to get a clear view inside the car and there was a handgun lying on the remains of the rear seat,” said Gda Corcoran.

Witness

Witness Jo McSweeney told Ms Brennan that her house was on the corner of the street and had a direct view of the junction where the taxi was left.

Ms McSweeney said she first heard a “bang” noise from outside and looked out from an upstairs window. The witness said she saw two people who she believed were aiming a gun and shooting in the direction of the junction.

She said that at the time she thought they were young, slight in build and that they may have been teenagers.

Ms McSweeney said she saw a gun being held by one of the men, and saw the flash and the noise of the bullets discharged.

The witness said she saw the two men who had shot at the taxi then running towards another car which sped off. Ms McSweeney said she believed the two men shouted “go, go,go” and possibly “we got him” as they ran.

Ms McSweeney added that she only saw one gun visible at the time of the shooting before she went outside.

“I went downstairs and opened the front door and nearly all my neighbours were outside. I saw an injured man, half in and half out of the taxi.

He seemed to be gurgling, he couldn’t speak and there was blood on him and on the ground,” said Ms McSweeney.

Another resident, Kofi Eminsang, said a bullet passed through his front door as he slept and shattered the glass front of his oven.

Mr Eminsang told Edward Doocey BL, for the State, that he went to bed shortly after 9pm on the night but heard nothing of the shooting.

The witness said he got up at around 6am the next morning to prepare for work and noticed the glass front of the oven had been shattered.

“I wondered what had happened. I thought, ‘had someone broken in?’ I opened the front window of the sitting room and saw my car had the tape of the gardaí next to it. I opened the front door and the gardaí were there, but they told me to stay where I was.

“I then told them about the broken glass in my oven,” said Mr Eminsang.

“The Garda saw a hole in the front door and traced it through a wall and then to where the oven got shattered. I asked what was going on, and they said there was a shooting incident. I asked was it directed at me and was told ‘no’, that there is someone in St James’ Hospital and that it is nothing to do with me.

“The gardaí then told me my house was now a crime scene,” said Mr Eminsang.

In opening the case for the prosecution on Tuesday, Eilis Brennan SC said the teenager had stopped to call into a residence on the night and then ordered a taxi.

However, upon entering the Toyota Prius and sitting on the rear passenger side he was shot a number of times at close range causing heavy bleeding.

Ms Brennan said that the injured party tried to escape the scene but had suffered one-centimetre bullet injuries to the right lower cheek, the left side of his neck and his right thigh.

It is the State’s case that Mr Berry was the shooter and Mr Mulvey was assisting along with another male not before the courts.

Counsel said the two men ran from the scene of the shooting and got into a black Hyundai hatchback manned by a getaway driver that was waiting nearby.

The Hyundai was later found burning out at Greenville Avenue, Sandford Gardens, Dublin 8, where the handgun was recovered.

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