Limerick man was shot hours after court appearance

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Thomas McCarthy (centre) was found guilty of shooting Gerard Hennessy and Colette Hennessy
A JURY has heard that a County Limerick man who was seriously injured when he was shot outside his family home last summer had appeared in court hours earlier on assault charges.

A JURY has heard that a County Limerick man who was seriously injured when he was shot outside his family home last summer had appeared in court hours earlier on assault charges.

Gerard Hennessy, 35, sustained multiple pellet wounds and a collapsed lung during an incident at Castleview Estate, Newcastle West on August 13, last.

Thomas McCarthy, aged 33, of Sli na Milaoise, Rathkeale has pleaded not guilty to three charges relating to the shooting.

He is accused of assaulting Mr Hennessy and his sister Colette as well as possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.

Opening the trial at Limerick Circuit Court, Michael Collins BL, instructed by State Solicitor Aidan Judge, told the jury it is the Prosecution case that Gerard and Colette Hennessy were injured when two shots were discharged at them by the defendant.

In his evidence, this Wednesday, Mr Hennessy said he was outside his mother’s home with members of his family at around 3.30pm when he heard a gunshot.

He told the jury he then saw Mr McCarthy, who was holding a “sawn-off” and wearing a balaclava, about 15 feet away.

“He shot at me, he shot at my kids and he shot at my sister,” he said adding that the defendant had pulled up the balaclava and smiled before fleeing in a silver car.

Being cross examined by Brendan Nix SC, Mr Hennessy denied he had “got the wrong man” stating that he has known Mr McCarthy most of his life.

He agreed he has a number of previous convictions and that he had appeared in court in Limerick city on the morning of the shooting on assault charges.

Referring to details of his previous convictions, Mr Nix commented that Mr Hennessy had “cheated jail on many occasions” as suspended sentences were imposed in several cases.

Earlier, Colette Hennessy, 40, said she was chatting with family members in the front garden of the house when she heard a shot.

She told the jury when she turned around she saw the defendant outside a neighbour’s gate holding a “short rusty thing”.

She said she has known Mr McCarthy all her life and that as she was running into the house she heard a second shot being discharged.

Ms Hennessy, who was in the early stages of pregnancy, sustained pellet wounds in her right hand and abdomen.

Being cross-examined by Mr Nix, the witness said she could not explain discrepancies between her direct evidence and her original statement to gardai.

She insisted she had not discussed the case with her brother in advance of the trial and that she was “100% certain” it was Thomas McCarthy who shot her.

The trial continues before Judge Tom O’Donnell and a jury of eight men and three women.