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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Brian Fitzgerald Murder Trial

The First Week

26 year old Dessie Dundon, his 22 year old brother John Dundon , 24 year old Gary Campion and 50 year old Clare businessman Anthony Kelly appeared in court Monday last as their long awaited murder trial got underway.

Amid tight security described as a ring of steal around Cloverhill prison, the prosecution outlined how it would prove to the jury of 12 men this week that the four accused were involved and planned the murder of former Doc’s bouncer Brian Fitzgerald on November 29th, 2002, at Brookhaven Walk, Mill Road in Corbally.

All In one breath ; The trial got off to a flying start with the prosecution alleging Anthony Kelly provided the killer, already convicted James Martin Cahill, with the gun, showed him how to use it and also that Dessie Dundon pointed out the victim, John Dundon showed him where to wait for the bouncer and Gary Campion drove the motor bike used on the night.

Sheees ka Bab! A moment to take all that in…right were off again.

Some bits and bobs form the trail so far.

:: The court heard Cahill and Gary Campion lay in wait for the bouncer that night outside his home.When he arrived, Cahill started to run at him, the vctim shouted at them and ran, but Cahill fired the gun a couple of times. - Link

:: The victims’ wife, Alice Fitzgerald told prosecuting counsel that on the night he died; Brian Fitzgerald (left) had left for work, as usual, at about 8.10pm. He was head of security in a Limerick nightclub. Before he left he bathed the couple's two young children and stayed with them until they fell asleep. At about 3.50am she heard the car and a short while later heard the door open. She started coming downstairs but heard four shots and the sound of glass breaking. She said she heard her husband shout: "Come on ye cunts." As she ran down the stairs she could see her husband fighting with a man in a motorcycle helmet through the glass panel in the front door. As she watched her husband looked at her through the glass. She ran back upstairs to phone the gardaí but couldn't get her phone to work so she came back downstairs. She used the house phone to call the gardaí and was looking out of the window as she talked.

:: In his opening statement, prosecuting counsel Denis Vaughan Buckley, told the jury the main prosecution witness James Martin Cahill had pleaded guilty to the actually committing the murder but would say that the four accused had taken part in the planning and execution of the offence. - Link

:: The jury then heard from some Taxi drivers on the night.including taxi driver Mr Luke Keogh, who told the court that he had been driving home from Limerick to Castletroy at about 4.10am on the night of the murder when he passed Dillon's garage on the Dublin Road and saw a fire in a laneway. He drove further on and stopped at a filling station to get cigarettes before deciding to return to the fire. When he arrived he could see that it was a motorcycle. "The back wheel and the exhaust gave it away." He called the fire brigade and went on his way. - Link

This was the motorbike one of the accused used which was set on fire after being abandoned. CourtTV roles on into day 4 of the trail.

:: CCTV footage was show to the jury on Day 4.The jury was told that a man shown in the tape walking near an address in Pineview Gardens was accused man, Gary Campion. He said he could identify Campion on three separate pieces of CCTV footage taken from cameras overlooking the address in the Pineview Gardens estate. -Link

The SuperGrass

At the time of his conviction back in November 2005 , the trigger man, James Martin Cahill apologised in court for the crime, and said he was willing to testify if other people are charged with the murder. He also told how he was in fear of his life and reckoned he would be killed in his cell.

The Sunday World reported a year ago that a price tag of €30,000 has been put on the head of Mr. Cahill (right) in a bid to silence him in his behind bars role as a Supergrass. The report told of how, rat poison was found in a meal which was being prepared for the convicted killer at Portlaoise prison.

However the alleged bids to silence Mr. Cahill were unsuccessful and he will appear this Tuesday LIVE IN PERSON…sorry, to give evidence against the four accused.

Oh bring it on!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Murderer refused prison transfer

Going nowhere fast

A Portuguese man who is serving a life sentence for the murder of a hotel receptionist in Limerick back in 2002 has had his appeal to be transferred to a prison in Portugal rejected today.

31 year old Paulo Nascimento was found guilty in 2003 after he pleaded guilty to the brutal murder. The murderer wanted to serve the rest of his sentence in his native Portugal because he had no family or friends in Ireland that could visit him(aww) and his family in Portugal were unable to make the long trip to visit him.He also said he wants to serve his sentence at home because he would be able to speak his own language.

A bit of history if you will,

The body of the Cork-born Grainne Dillon, 24,(below) was found at 5.40 am in the kitchen of the Jurys Inn Hotel in the city on January 5th 2002. The grim discovery was made by a member of staff and Gardai were immediately called to the scene. She had been shot by Paulo Nascimento who had just stolen €3,000.

The young woman's parents rang the hotel early the next morning when they heard news of a murder on the radio only to discover it was there own daughter that had met an untimely death.
Among those staying at the hotel on the night of the murder were members of the Harlequins Rugby team who took on Munster in Thomond Park in the European Cup the evening before.

The decision fell on the capable shoulders of Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne today and it went down like this,

Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne dismissed his case today saying the Minister for Justice had the discretion to decide whether or not to transfer a prisoner. She also said he had an obligation to consider the manner in which a sentence would be served in another jurisdiction. Ms Justice Dunne also said that by exercising his discretion, the Minister was not determining a sentence. She said the sentence was determined by the courts. -RTE

Mr. Nascimento better get the hammer and nails out and stick this up in his IRISH prison cell:

The Minister for Justice has already refused a request by Mr Nascimento to be repatriated to his home country. Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne has agreed today ...i think we all do.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Scarred for the rest of their lives

“..that were in a car which was set on fire”

The middle of an emergency transmission from a paramedic picked up on the scanner. My ears cocked that Sunday evening as I tried to come to terms with what I had just heard or thought I had heard. I ran into the other room to the see could I hear some more but it was gone, all quiet.Nah..couldn't be I shrugged. It soon hit the news, two children burned after the car they were sitting in was set on fire in Moyross.

5 year old Gavin and 7 year old Millie Murray are left with permanent scars of the attack which was perpetrated by three teenagers in Pineview Gardens on September 10th 2006.

18 year old Jonathan O'Donoghue, 18 year old John Mitchell and 17 year old Robert Sheehan were all in court last Friday as the city and country watched to see would justice be done or would the scum get off with it.

The Independent sums the story up better than I ever could,

The attack arose after Sheehan and O'Donoghue were refused a lift by Sheila Murray to Limerick District Court while she was visiting a friend, Aishling Bond at 69 Pineview Gardens. The pair left shouting threats at Mrs Murray. O'Donoghue and Sheehan went to nearby Casey's shop where they met John Mitchell.

They returned in the direction of Ms Bond's house where O'Donoghue and Mitchell climbed into her back garden, while Sheehan walked over to his own house to act as lookout.

Judge Carroll Moran heard that paraphernalia for petrol bombs was available in Pineview Gardens after two violent nights when arson attacks were launched at gardai. In the garden, O'Donoghue and Mitchell siphoned petrol into an empty plastic Lucozade bottle and put magazine paper into the nozzle of the bottle and lit it. O'Donoghue threw the bottle which went in through the rear side window of the green Toyota Corolla and engulfed the children in flames.
Prosecuting on behalf of the State, John O'Sullivan said as a result, "the children were turned into human fireballs".

Sheila Murray pulled Millie from the inferno while Gavin was rescued by neighbours, including Robert Sheehan. The children were rushed to the Mid-Western Regional Hospital before being transferred to Crumlin Childrens' Hospital. A statement from Consultant Plastic Surgeon at Crumlin, Dr David Orr said the children suffered life threatening burns and would have "severe permanent disfigurement".

Gardai responded fairly quickly in this case, arresting O`Donoghue and Mitchell soon after the attack. Clearly guilt ridden, Sheehan walked into Mayorstone Garda station next and handed himself in.

One teen was granted bail but was told he must stay away from Limerick city and reside at an address given to Gardai along with a nightly curfew.

Appeals were made from clergy for calm, funds were set up and Millie and Gavin were treated like movie stars even appearing on the Late Late toy show. People tried to do all they could to make their recovery process just that little bit easier as the periodical court cases began.

The Murray house came under attack on October 8th of 2006. A brick was thrown through the front window of the family home. The mother, along with six of her kids were forced to flee their Pineview Gardens house after the attack. It was clear they were not wanted in the area, so they moved. This in itself was another rigmarole.

After numerous failed objections form locals, the council finally found a house for the family in a cratloe road housing estate. The council purchased the house worth around 270,000.

On January 2nd the three accused were back in court and there were fears of the case collapsing as the judge expressed concern that the book of evidence on the two 18 year olds was still not prepared. In February, the mother, Sheila defended herself against allegations that she smuggled drugs into Limerick prison, saying she was the victim of a hate campaign.

The year long chronicle culminated in a packed court house last Friday as the sentencing was read aloud to a anxious ever ready courthouse full to the brim of journalists, family members and other general nosey bastards.(you know the kind)

O'Donoghue, “the main mover” in the attack (seen right) was given 8 years in jail with the final two years suspended. Mitchell was given a 7 year sentence with the final two years suspended. Sheehan was given just two years for his involvement after the court determined his role in the attack was considerably less and also due to the fact that he tried to rescue the two children form the inferno. The prosecution had accepted from the very beginning that the three delinquents did not know at the time of throwing the Molotov cocktail that the kids were in the car. The response of Sheehan to rescue the children proved this.
Judge Moran ordered that all three be under the supervision of the probation services upon release.

A portion of Sheila Murray's victim impact statement as read in court:

"I watched Millie and Gavin going through intensive burns treatment everyday.
When they were coming off the sedation they were in terrible pain. Most of the time I had to leave the room because I couldn't stand to watch them anymore. Millie and Gavin will need a lot more treatment, more skin grafts and Gavin will need to have his ear fixed. They will be scarred physically for the rest of their lives, aside from the psychological effects it has had and will have on them.

Myself and all my children are having counselling because of all this. Since Millie and Gavin came out of hospital in January they have their dressings/creams done by nurses every second day and physio three times a week.

They have to wear special "jobst garments" all over their burns. Gavin has one for his back, neck and his head, as most of his burns are on his head.
Our whole lives now revolve around Millie and Gavin's treatment. We can't go anywhere or arrange anything, like a break away for them or the rest of the children, because of their treatment.

I have to sit up most nights with Gavin as he gets bad nightmares. They are both frightened to sleep on their own so they sleep with me.

Our lives will never be the same again and Millie and Gavin will never get their full health back. They are scarred for the rest of their lives."

..Scarred for the rest of their lives.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

An Octogenarian, Septuagenarian and a murder weapon

In a dramatic turn of events as relates to the murder of Gareth Grant, Gardai this week arrested an elderly couple from St. Marys Park as part of the investigation. The arrests came as Gardai performed follow up searches in the area the day after the brutal death of grant. The woolly hat brigade were rounded up around 8pm Tuesday night.

It was from these searches that Gardai believe they have recovered the weapon used in the murder. The semi automatic pistol is currently being scrutinised by the Garda forensics division in Dublin as they try to work out just who the trigger happy scumbag at the other end of the gun was.

The elderly couple who are directly related to a the 20 year old man who was arrested hours after the murder itself , spent the night in Garda custody before all three were released without charge. A file is being prepped to be sent to the DPP.

It’s good to Talk

The murder was a perfect opportunity for local politicians to holler at us one more time. John Gilligan got stuck in double time responding to claims that the Army may be called in to undermine.. no sorry ... support Gardai in their effort to fight the plague stating the possibility of army deployment in d’island would be simply a “knee jerk reaction” while Kevin Kiely raised the issue of 50 more Gardai that are still owed to the city based on the recommendations of the Fitzgerald report. And don’t forget Maurice Quinlivan who sends out a press release every time someone farts.

Look I don’t know about you but all these solutions have been suggested before and I doubt any of them will ever work. This may be a job for a true hero, someone with Superhuman strength, speed and stamina and don’t forget the ability of Matter transmutation. Yes none other than Captain Planet.

Because the way things are spiralling, someday only someone whose body is composed mainly of a crystal compound could ever stop these scumbags from shooting each other dead on the street.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Bravado Bravado Bravado!

Da Gangsta Shit continues in Limerick

A sombre and almost bewildered looking Garda Superintendant John Kerin faced the media today and in a red faced statement told how armed Gardai from The states Emergency Response Unit along with local armed and uniformed Gardai were just yards from the scene of the fatal shooting of 25 year old Gareth Grant last night.

“It certainly shows quite an amount of bravado” he stumbled as it became clear that he himself just like the rest of us couldn’t understand how someone can be shot twice in the presence of a police force supposedly in the middle of a ‘crackdown on violent crime’

The ‘elite’ Garda unit had been carrying out a checkpoint on the top of the same street in which Grant was gunned down. He was shot at close range once in the head and once to his left chest.

(Garda Superintendant John Kerin )

Although Gardai were aware of Gareth Grant in the past he was not major player in the whole gang crime 'assemblage' if you will, making the establishment of a motive just that bit more difficult; an early motive sights a local dispute as a possible reason for the killing.Known or not, three kids have no father tonight.

The man arrested by Gardai in connection with the murder however, is a well known figure to the force. The 20 year old was arrested within an hour of the shooting hiding out in a house close by. He didn’t resist arrest.

Now there’s talk of the Army getting involved again. Great… more boys with toys on our streets. Whatever the knee jerk reaction this minister calls for, one thing is clear, tit for tat retaliation is guaranteed, more people will suffer.

Look up bravado in the dictionary and one will see the following definition:

Middle French bravade & Old Spanish bravata, from Old Italian bravata, from bravare to challenge, show off, from brav. pretense of bravery….

Bravery? dont make me laugh.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Man shot dead in St. Marys Park

A man has been shot dead in the notorious St. Marys Park area of the city. Whats new I hear you say.

The incident happened around 10.15 pm Monday night on Ita street in which the man received fatal gunshot wounds with a least one to the head. He lay in the road acting like a nothing more than a potential speedbump until emergency services were called.

He was quickly taken to the regional hospital in Dooradoyle where he died shortly after.

RTE News has more.

A 20-year-old man has been arrested in connection.Dead man named as Gareth Grant.

The Topless barmaid of Montpelier

"Basically, the pub business is down all over the country. Everyone is suffering and this is the case here in a big way”

The words of bar owner John Joe Fitzpatrick who runs a bar in Montpelier Co Limerick , as he explains his reasons for employing a barmaid who every Thursday night goes topless behind the bar.

Speaking on the Gerry Ryan show this morning Mr. Fitzpatrick described to a very eager Ryan and studio guests Podge and Rodge, the "bit of crack" that goes on in Browne’s pub every Thursday night saying and I quote:

“We have a barmaid there and she dresses kind of trendy and she goes topless as the night goes on, a young girl maybe about 26 or 27.She wears sometimes a nurse’s outfit.”
The woman known as Jasmin is a local in the area and has managed to dramatically increase the crowd in the local pub in the last few weeks.Im sure thats not all she dramatically increases.

Ryan comes out with a classic query during the discussion, “Who’s in charge of the signal for her to take off her top” to which John Joe replies, “well she does that herself”

No doubt Browne’s pub shall be exceptionally busy this Thursday night.
Gerry Ryan Show Link - (Realplayer) scroll 2hrs and 53 minutes into the show to hear the interview.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Insight: A Global Comparison

Is it just me or is Southill a lot like Burma.

During the recent events in Burma the world was able to see what was happening in the reclusive state thanks to heroic bloggers and youtubers. Not like the 1988 student uprising when hundreds were massacred, this time the world was able to peer behind the secretive cloak, exposing what was really going on – from an on the ground perspective.

Well great news, this practice is being repeated in our very own little reclusive Southill (ruled by a drug dealing junta this time).Videos are emerging on a very regular basis such as the on above; clips which allow us to really see what the residents truly have to put up with on a daily basis.

Now, the unprecedented video leaks in Burma may have prompted the international community to respond more quickly to the crisis because it was clear to see what was going on… but I just don’t see the same happening for Southill. Then again there is that whole regeneration malarkey happening now.

On the other hand, one might look at it this way. The leaking of videos by the burma people showing troops cracking down on protesters is a way of crying for international help but the videos on YouTube showing burning cars and joyriding in Southill is clearly just for glorification reasons.

Made me think anyway.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Back in Black

“An appalling incident of violence”

Im sorry, is there other types of non appalling violence?

A Limerick man has been given a three year jail sentence after glassing a nightclub doorman.

“Enda Moran and his friend Karl Uzell pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal
Court to assaulting Michael Hogan causing him harm on December 15, 2004 in what
was described as an "utterly unjustified, appalling incident of violence"

Im not going to whinge and moan about how Mr. Moran is tarnishing our poor cities image because the bottom line is, it doesn’t matter where he came from, he’s still a drink filled idiot who’s ruined someone else’s life.

Sorry, Im not a 'play the victim' blogger.