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Gardai say man admitted killing rugby player

The man charged with murdering rugby player Shane Geoghegan allegedly admitted to the shooting during garda interviews, a court heard yesterday.

The prosecution was making its opening speech in the Central Criminal Court trial of Barry Doyle (26), of Portland Row, in Dublin.

He has pleaded not guilty to murdering the 28-year-old on November 9, 2008, at Clonmore, Kilteragh, Dooradoyle.

Tom O'Connell, prosecuting, said the Garryowen player was killed in a case of mistaken identity, but that this was "neither here nor there".

"The State says that Barry Doyle saw a human being in front of him," he said. "He fired bullets into his body, intending to kill him or, at the very least, cause massive injury.

"If you come to the conclusion that Barry Doyle did that to Shane Geoghegan, then that is murder."

He said Mr Geoghegan had captained Garryowen in a match on Saturday, November 8, that year. Afterwards he watched another match in the house of a friend, who lived across a green area from the home Mr Geoghegan shared with his girlfriend.

"As he was making his way back to his own house, he was attacked by a gunman," explained Mr O'Connell.

He said a post-mortem showed the victim died from gunshot injuries to his head and trunk. He suffered five gunshots in total. He had internal injuries to his brain, right lung, ribs and pelvis.

The court heard that three bullets were recovered from Mr Geoghegan's body and a number of cartridge cases were found at the scene. Ballistics experts concluded that a 9mm semi-automatic Glock was used. It was never recovered, he said.

Mr O'Connell said the accused came from Dublin, but had been living in Limerick since June 2008. He left the city shortly after the murder and went to Turkey, but returned shortly before Christmas that year. He was arrested in February 2009 and ultimately charged with Mr Geoghegan's murder, he said.

He said that in his 15th garda interview and after a private consultation with his solicitor, Mr Doyle made admissions to the gardai about his involvement in the killing.

"He admitted shooting Shane Geoghegan," he said. Mr Doyle also said he had never before met Mr Geoghegan, who he described as an innocent man.

"All the evidence suggests that Mr Doyle was part of a joint enterprise," said Mr O'Connell. However, Mr Doyle did not name anyone else involved.

Mr Geoghegan's girlfriend, Jenna Barry, gave evidence of last seeing her boyfriend in the house where he was watching the match about two hours before he died. She then visited his mother before going home.

The trial is expected to last another three weeks.

Belfast Telegraph