Witness says murder accused held gun to his head

Petula Martyn at the

Reporter:

Petula Martyn at the

A WITNESS at a murder trial has said Kenneth Collopy stuck a gun to his head and threatened to blow his brains out when he refused to drive the murder accused to an address on the Ballysimon Road.

A WITNESS at a murder trial has said Kenneth Collopy stuck a gun to his head and threatened to blow his brains out when he refused to drive the murder accused to an address on the Ballysimon Road.

The Central Criminal Court has heard allegations that Mr Collopy, fired shots at a caravan, killing Daniel Fitzgerald, in retaliation for an arson attack on his mother’s icecream van the night before.

The 20-year-old accused man, who has an address at Killonan, Ballysimon, denies murdering

the 24-year-old carpenter at Cloughnadromin, Ballysimon, on December 8, 2009.

It is the defence’s case that “the shooter” intended to shoot at a number of caravans at the

murder scene, and did not intend to kill Mr Fitzgerald who was visiting his uncle and aunt at the time.

On the third day of evidence, Jason O’Donoghue from St Mary’s Park told the jury that he promised

to give a lift home to Mr Collopy in his Toyota Corolla, and en route the murder suspect produced a

gun from his pants and ordered the driver to turn into an area off the Ballysimon Road.

“He was swearing into my ear, ‘On Phillip’s grave, I’ll blow your head off, I’ll blow your head off’,”Mr O’Donoghue, from St Mary’s Park told the court.

It is alleged that Mr Collopy forced Mr O’Donoghue and another passenger out of the Toyota Corolla, and drove the vehicle into Fitz’ yard where he shot Mr Fitzgerald to death.

The victim suffered two gunshot wounds during the gun attack after he stepped outside a caravan near his uncle and aunt’s family home.

The family were living in two caravans and a mobile home to the rear of a house that they were renovating at the time, and their nephew was visiting them.

Another witness at the murder trial took to the stand and told the court that he saw the accused

man shoot Mr Fitzgerald with a handgun.

Christopher Mulqueen,who was the back seat passenger in a Toyota Corolla, told the jury that he

saw Mr Fitzgerald getting shot at Fitz’s yard over a year ago.

When the witness was asked if he had seen who shot the 25-year-old, he replied, “Yeah, Kenneth.”

Mary Ellen Ring, SC, for the prosecution, asked Mr Mulqueen about the firearm allegedly used in the murder and the witness said Mr Collopy had used “a Glock” to fire 16 or 17 shots.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Barry White at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin.