Limerick man identified attacker during garda interviews

Special Criminal Court rules statements are admissible as evidence

Daniel Hickey

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Daniel Hickey

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news@limerickleader.ie

Limerick man identified attacker during garda interviews

Larry McCarthy has pleaded not guilty to charges of assault at affray

A LIMERICK man who was allegedly assaulted after agreeing accept out-of-court compensation following an accident told gardai a man named Larry McCarthy stabbed him in the leg, the Special Criminal Court has heard.

A statement which David Foran (33) gave to gardai two days after the alleged assault was read into evidence this Thursday after the prosecution successfully argued there were “inconsistencies” between Mr Foran's direct evidence on Tuesday and the statements he had earlier given to gardai. 

Larry McCarthy, aged 37, who has an address at Tower Lodge, Cossagalla, Old Cork Road (37) has pleaded not guilty to assaulting Mr Foran at Cornmarket Villas, Limerick on November 25, 2014. He also denies a charge of affray. 

Earlier this week, the prosecution sought to have Mr Foran’s statements admitted as evidence under the provisions of Section 16 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006.

John Byrne BL, prosecuting, had submitted there were “inconsistencies” between Mr Foran's evidence and statements he had earlier given to gardai.

In his direct evidence, Mr Foran said he did not know who had stabbed him on the date of the alleged offence.

Delivering the courts’ judgment this Thursday, Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy, presiding, said the court was satisfied Mr Foran gave his statements (to gardai) voluntarily and that they were reliable.

The court had heard that on November 27, 2014 Mr Foran told gardai that almost a fortnight earlier, while cycling to his sister's house, he had been knocked down by a motorcyclist.

He said that later that night, after being discharged from hospital, his wife told him that the motorcyclist wanted to settle the matter without going to court.

Mr Foran called the motorcyclist, the court heard, and the man then called to the Forans' house that night. 

Mr Foran told the gardai that the motorcyclist pleaded with him not to press charges or take him to court because he was “off the road” and had no insurance.

The court heard that the man called to the Forans' house every day, that he used to bring weed and he and Mr Foran would smoke a joint together. 

“He was pleading with me to not go to court,” Mr Foran told the gardai, adding that the man said he was “getting money together to pay for my injuries”.

About ten days later, the court heard, the motorcyclist rang Mr Foran and said another man had the compensation money.

Mr Foran went into Limerick city, met the man and they both walked to Cornmarket Villas, where there were a “few fellas with their faces covered with scarves”, the court heard.

Mr Foran told the gardai that one of the men said he was Larry McCarthy and that his face was uncovered. “He was stocky, with red hair, unshaven like me,” the alleged victim said.

The court heard that Larry McCarthy said, “I know you're David Foran, what are you doing demanding money off my cousin?”

Mr Foran said that he asked what was he on about. He said he told him that the motorcyclist had knocked him down and wanted to settle out of court. “I asked where was the money,” Mr Foran told gardai.

He said that Larry McCarthy told him he was “getting no money”.

Mr Foran said that he then got a “slap off a baseball bat into the back of the head”.

He said that he started to get an “unmerciful beating”. 

“One of the things that saved me was my bulletproof vest, I wear it for protection,” he said. 

The court heard that his face hit the ground and that he felt someone trying to tie his legs. He said that he saw a car boot was open. “That's where I thought I was going to end up,” he said.  

Mr Foran told the gardai that Larry McCarthy stabbed him in the leg with a knife. 

“They were all dragging out of me. Larry McCarthy said, 'Fuck, we're after leaving DNA'. They were pulling at my vest, trying to get it off,” he told the gardai. 

Mr Foran said that he saw the knife, picked it up and waved it round, and the men then all backed off.

He said that he picked up his vest and backed away toward the gate.

Mr Foran said, “I told Larry come out and fight me one-on-one. He said I've some mouth.”

Mr Foran then went home, the court heard.