Belfast Telegraph

Geoghegan accused faints in cell

An illiterate prisoner on hunger strike fainted and cut his head moments before he was due to defend himself in a murder trial, a court heard.

John Dundon was due in court over the shooting of rugby player Shane Geoghegan when judges were told he would have to be taken to hospital instead.

The 30-year-old had been pushed into the Special Criminal Court in a wheelchair during a morning hearing, where he remained seated as he pleaded not guilty to the murder of the Garryowen player in 2008 and sacked his legal team.

But Dundon, from Hyde Road, Limerick, who cannot read or write, argued he was "out of his depth" and didn't "have a clue" after agreeing to defend himself at the non-jury court.

As the trial was due to start at 2pm, Peter Kelly, assistant chief officer at Portlaoise high security prison, took to the witness box and told the three judges that the accused had injured himself during the lunch break.

"His cell call alarm system came up and the prisoner in the cell with John notified us that he had fainted in the cell and cut his head," said Mr Kelly.

Mr Kelly, who had escorted Dundon to court, said he noticed a new cut on Dundon's head and notified the chief officer on duty.

"We assessed John was breathing and in the correct position," Mr Kelly continued.

The other inmate - named in court as double murder suspect Nathan Killeen from Limerick - was moved to a secure area and paramedics from Dublin Fire Brigade were called to assess Dundon's condition, Mr Kelly added.

Dundon is expected to be taken to a Dublin hospital by ambulance for further medical checks.


From Belfast Telegraph