AN aunt of murder-victim Des Kelly broke down at the Central Criminal Court yesterday as she described finding her nephew lying in a pool of blood hours after he was shot at his home in Southill.
Joan Barrett-Dundon was giving evidence on the opening day of the trial of two men who are accused of murdering the 23-year-old along with Breda Waters (28) at 531 O’Malley Park on January 9, 2011.
Thomas Stewart, aged 29, of The Cedars, Briarfield, Castletroy and Patrick O’Brien, aged 33, of Golf Links Road, Castletroy have pleaded not guilty to the double murder.
It is the prosecution case that Mr Kelly and Ms Waters were shot shortly before 9am when two men entered Mr Kelly’s home armed with a shotgun.
In her evidence, Ms Barrett-Dundon, who also lives in O’Malley Park, said she was alerted at around 10.30am when Des Kelly’s sister Teresa, who also lives at 531 O’Malley Park, called to her home.
She told the jury of six men and six women that she immediately ran across the road to her nephew’s home and that when she entered the kitchen she could see him “lying on the ground in a pool of blood by the back door”.
The witness described how Mr Kelly was wearing a navy dressing gown but that he did not reply as she repeatedly called his name.
Another witness, Brenda O’Connor, who lived next door to Des Kelly, described how she was awoken by a “loud bang” at around 9am on the morning of the shooting.
She said she heard a second bang a short time later but that she thought nothing of it and went back to sleep. When Des Kelly’s sister called to her home at around 11am, she went next door to investigate what had happened.
Describing the scene in the kitchen she said there was a lot of blood and that she knew “he [Des] couldn’t be alive”.
Mrs O’Connor said she then went upstairs to remove Des Kelly’s five-month old baby, Lilly, from the house at which point she discovered the body of Breda Waters in the front bedroom. “She was thrown back on the bed,” she said adding that she “didn’t want to be looking at it”.
Earlier, Brendan Grehan SC, said it is the prosecution case that the defendants had carried out the murders in a what he described as a “common enterprise”.
Mr Grehan told the jurors they will be shown a large amount of CCTV footage from locations in O’Malley Park and elsewhere in Limerick city during the trial which could last up to a month.
Mr Justice George Birmingham warned the jurors not to be influenced by any media coverage of the trial and not to search about the case or those involved on the internet.