Kilkee murder trial: ‘I only went out for a few cans and ended up killing someone’

Olga Cronin

Reporter:

Olga Cronin

Kilkee murder trial: ‘I only went out for a few cans and ended up killing someone’

A MURDER accused told gardai in interview that he “only went out for a few cans and ended up killing someone”, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

Robbie Walsh, 23, from Island View, Kilrush, Co Clare, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Karl ‘Gobbo’ Haugh, 25, in the Marian Estate in Kilkee, Co Clare on August 6, 2017.

Video footage of excerpts from the accused’s first, second and fourth Garda interviews were played for the jury this afternoon at the instruction of Conor McKenna BL, defending.

Transcripts of his third and fourth Garda interviews were also read out by Michael Hourigan BL, prosecuting, this morning.

In his fourth interview with Detective Garda Brendan Rouine, of Kilrush Garda Station, Robbie Walsh said: “I killed a man. It’s not an easy thing to have on your shoulders. I only went out for a few cans and ended up killing someone.”

The court has previously heard that Robbie Walsh and his cousins, Mitchell Walsh and Clinton Walsh, also from Kilrush, went to the Marian Estate on the Saturday night of the August Bank Holiday weekend in 2017 to smash up Mr Haugh’s car.

The decision to vandalise Mr Haugh’s car followed an alleged separate physical altercation between Clinton Walsh and Mr Haugh earlier in the evening - when Clinton Walsh allegedly sought to get cocaine from Mr Haugh.

In the third interview, the jury heard Robbie Walsh told Det Gda Rouine that he used a metal bar to smash the left-hand side windows and windscreen of a car he believed was Mr Haugh’s.

He said: “We then took off running but when we got to the lane way, Karl and a right few were there.”

He said they had bars and golf clubs.

Robbie Walsh told Det Garda Rouine that, during the altercation, Mr Haugh “got a belt” across his shoulder and this caused him to drop a knife that he was holding.

Robbie Walsh said he immediately picked the knife up with his right hand and that Karl Haugh then grabbed him and started dragging him around “like a rag doll”. 

Robbie Walsh says when Mr Haugh grabbed him, he [Robbie] dropped the bar he had been holding but kept hold of the knife.

The accused said he then swung his right arm around and stabbed Mr Haugh in the back.

He said Mr Haugh let out a “yelp” and dropped to his knees.

Robbie Walsh said when he saw Mr Haugh get back up again he thought he was OK.

Asked by Det Garda Rouine if there was anything he’d like to have changed about the night, Robbie Walsh said: “A man died, there was no need for it. A shitty bag of coke.”

“I’d no intention of killing anyone or doing anything like that. My only intention was to smash a few windows. I might be a lot of things but I’m not a murderer.”

In the fourth interview, in Kilrush Garda Station on the morning of Monday, August 7, Robbie Walsh told Det Garda Rouine that he and his cousins were “boxed in” in Marian Estate and that they “had no choice but to stand and fight”.

Asked by Det Garda Rouine how he felt about what happened, Robbie Walsh said: “Shit because there’s a man’s mass on today.”

Det Garda Rouine replied that there’s “a man’s mass on every day”. Robbie Walsh responded: “Yeah, but not because of me.”

He also said: “He [Karl Haugh] was pushing me and leaning on me. I thought I was f*cked.”

In the same interview, Robbie Walsh said several hours after the incident his house “got smashed up” by three men.

He said he roared “get away from the house” while they were screaming “Gobbo’s dead”.

Robbie Walsh said his mother rang the guards and that when they came, he met them, extended his two arms and said: “The man stabbed in Kilkee last night, that was me.”

In the same interview, Robbie Walsh said: “I was going breaking up [Karl Haugh’s] car. For kicking the shit out of my cousin, we were breaking up his car. I wish it never happened.

“I was shocked when he grabbed hold of me. I was in fear.”

In the fifth interview, the jury heard about a message exchange he had with a friend via Facebook on hours after the incident and in which he told his friend “Gobbo got stabbed in the lung”.

Asked if he sent a later message saying “when he’s better, I’ll stab him again”, Robbie Walsh said he did send it but he didn’t think Mr Haugh was going to die.

The trial continues before Ms Justice Carmel Stewart and a jury of seven men and four women.