A teenage boy has pleaded guilty to his involvement in a violent incident in connection with the murder of 20-year-old college student Cameron Blair in Cork last year.
The 16-year-old, who cannot be named because he is a minor, went on trial today at the Central Criminal Court on two charges of violent disorder and the production of a knife in relation to the incident in Cork city on January 16, 2020.
The boy's defence barrister Timothy O'Leary SC told the 12 jurors this afternoon that his client had pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to both charges on the indictment and asked for the accused to be re-arraigned on the first count of violent disorder.
Following this, the juvenile pleaded guilty to committing violent disorder with two other persons present together, using or threatening to use unlawful violence, and such conduct taken together would cause a person of reasonable firmness present at Bandon Road in Cork city to fear for his or another person's safety at the said place on January 16, 2020.
Mr O'Leary said the accused would maintain his plea in accordance with the second charge of the production of the knife. The defendant has pleaded not guilty to producing an article capable of inflicting serious injury in the course of a dispute, to wit a knife, in a manner likely unlawfully to intimidate another person on the same occasion.
Addressing the jury panel last Wednesday, Mr Justice Michael White said that the accused was a juvenile, which meant that he was under 18 years of age so it would be a "juvenile court".
The judge said the events related to "a tragic situation" where Cameron Blair, a second-year chemical engineering student at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), died at Cork University Hospital (CUH) on January 16, 2020, and another juvenile had already pleaded guilty to his murder.
Prosecution counsel John Fitzgerald SC has begun his opening speech to the jury of eight men and four women this afternoon and will continue his address at 2pm.
Cameron was a native of Ballinascarthy in west Cork and was stabbed in the neck while attending a student party at a house on Bandon Road in Cork City.
The deceased's father, mother and younger brother are attending the trial before Mr Justice David Keane at Croke Park, which is expected to last three weeks.