Murder trial: hatchet found in search shown to jury

Sean Flanagan, 28, from Lenihan Avenue, denies murdering Gerard McMahon in January 2012
THE TRIAL is continuing into the murder of a Limerickman, who died after being stabbed thirteen times in the head and chest on the steps of his cousin’s house.

THE TRIAL is continuing into the murder of a Limerickman, who died after being stabbed thirteen times in the head and chest on the steps of his cousin’s house.

Paul Colbert, aged 46, of Lenihan Avenue, Prospect and his nephew, Sean Flanagan, aged 28, also of Lenihan Avenue have each pleaded not guilty to murdering Gerard McMahon, 43, on January 18, 2012.

Ian Flanagan, aged 24, of the same address as his co-accused, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of assisting an offender on the same date. He is accused of removing a CCTV recording device from their house, knowing it might form evidence in a prosecution.

The jury has heard that Seán and Ian Flanagan are brothers and Mr Colbert is their uncle.

At the Central Criminal Court, Garda Josephine Falvey told the court that she assisted in a search of the home of the three accused men on January 18 last year, initially concentrating on the hot press.

“I located two small swords and I located a hatchet,” she said. She said the swords were beside the lagging jacket, but that the hatchet wasn’t overtly visible. “There was a panel inside the door and you had to look around,” she said.

She identified the black-and-yellow-handled hatchet for the jury.

Brendan Nix SC, defending Ian Flanagan, asked her to measure the axe in inches and provided her with a ruler. She measured it in the witness box. Its handle was 12.25in long, she said, and the blade measured 5.75in from handle to sharp edge.

Garda Tom Keane said he searched a house on Hyde Road the following day as part of the investigation into the killing. “I found a CCTV hard drive contained in a Superquinn shopping bag,” he said, explaining that he had found it in a cupboard under the stairs. He identified the hard drive in court.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Garrett and is expected to last a number of weeks.