The Criminal Courts of Justice, Dublin
THE issue of self defence will have to be considered in the trial of a 41-year-old man who admits killing but denies murdering another man in County Clare over two years ago, the State has told a Central Criminal Court jury.
The 12 jurors were also told it is the prosecution case that the deceased man had three injuries to his body which were consistent with stab wounds after he was struck by the accused.
Nassar Ahmed of The Mews, Kilrush Road, Ennis has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of Eoin Boylan (32) at Gordon Drive, Cloughleigh, Ennis, on April 14, 2020.
Mr Ahmed offered to plead guilty to manslaughter in advance of the trial but the Director of Public Prosecutions has refused to accept the plea.
Opening the prosecution case this Thursday, Lorcan Staines SC said that Mr Ahmed, who is originally from Sudan in North Africa, came to Ireland in the mid 2000's and settled in Ennis, County Clare.
Outlining the facts of the case, Mr Staines said that the accused met a local woman, got married in 2007 and had three children.
The jury will hear, said Mr Staines, that ultimately their marriage broke down and it ended completely in November 2018.
Around Christmas 2019, Mr Staines said that Mr Ahmed's former partner met Eoin Boylan and they started a relationship together.
Counsel also told the jury that Mr Ahmed's former partner had been friends with Mr Boylan when they were in school together years earlier but had fallen out of touch.
"Around summer 2019 they bumped into each other and a romantic relationship started between them around Christmas 2019," he added.
Mr Staines said the evidence will be that Mr Boylan moved into the woman's house "quite quickly" after their relationship commenced.
In March 2020, the lawyer said that Covid-19 hit Ireland quite significantly and there was a "very hard first lockdown".
There will be evidence, Mr Staines said, that Mr Ahmed's former partner was living in her house with Mr Boylan and his mother. "They all effectively stayed together," he said. The woman's cousin was also living in the same house, he said.
On the day of the incident, Mr Staines said there was phone communication between Mr Ahmed and his former partner as the accused wanted to come to the house, over which a dispute arose.
Mr Boylan, who was in the house at the time, left and "words" took place between him and the accused man. "There are a number of eye witnesses to what actually took place, what was said and done between the accused and Mr Boylan. There is also CCTV footage of some of it but not all of it," said counsel.
In relation to the evidence against the accused, Mr Staines said that ultimately Mr Ahmed hit Mr Boylan three times. Mr Boylan very quickly fell to the ground after being hit and he had three injuries to his body which were consistent with stab wounds, he said.
Outlining the circumstances of the deceased’s death, Mr Staines said that Mr Boylan bled out at the scene and had a collapsed lung. A pathologist formed the view that he had been stabbed to death, he said.
The barrister further stated that the accused has pleaded guilty to manslaughter, which meant that he admitted killing Mr Boylan.
Mr Staines said the court will hear that the issue that will ultimately arise in the case is self-defence and the jury will have to consider this in due course.
The trial continues before Ms Justice Eileen Creedon and a jury of seven men and five women. It is expected to last three weeks.
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