Angry screams were heard around Mardyke Walk in the hours before Cork chef Timmy Hourihane was violently killed there.
Catriona Donegan was in her parents' house nearby watching a film with her boyfriend that night when she heard someone scream outside sometime between 10.30pm and 11.30pm.
“The window was open, there were no words spoken just the screaming of a woman. It didn’t sound like she was in need of assistance, it was an angry scream,” Ms Donegan said.
Later that night, at about 12.25am, as she was leaving the house to give her boyfriend a lift home, she heard another scream.
“I heard a man scream aggressively, ’You’re the most attention-seeking person ever. Get the fuck away from me.’ “It was very angry and felt very close. I was expecting to see them at the front of the house - I looked out onto Western Rd but no one was there.”
She then got in her car and drove her boyfriend home, driving in the opposite direction from the nearby tented village off Mardyke Walk, where people who were homeless were living at the time.
But on her return, she was confronted by a large fire, turning the clear night air thick and smokey as she turned back towards Mardyke Walk. She initially thought it was fog, which she said was "odd" as it was a clear night.
Ms Donegan then stopped when she saw “an enormous fire directly almost in front of me”.
She said that the fire was in the same place that she had seen a tent and about six people partying earlier that evening.
“It was an aggressive fire. I thought 'I saw people here earlier, are they the cause of the fire and continuing with the party? Should I call the fire brigade or not?’
“The tree was about to catch fire, I was concerned about that. I called Brian [her boyfriend] for advice.
“I was on the phone to Brian, looking at the fire and the tree, and I saw a male person walking, I could only see the back of his head. He walked towards the fire. His demeanour seemed intoxicated or under the influence.
“He was broad, rounded shoulders. It was a silhouette, against a fire. But a broad, rounded gentleman, not petite or overweight.
“He just unzipped his zip-up, and removed it and flung it into the fire.
"There was an explosion when that went in, there might have been something in his pocket that exploded.
“There was a loud bang.
“I said it to Brian, he told me to get home. My plan was to run into the house and call the fire brigade. But then I heard a second bang, it was way louder.”
Ms Donegan phoned emergency services on 112 at 12.39am and requested both the fire service and gardaí.
When she went outside, she saw the fire essentially extinguished and the fire service and gardaí present.
Mr Hourihane was on the ground, being given CPR and having a defibrillator applied.
One of those people who worked to save Mr Hourihane that night was Cork firefighter Brian Tanner who was called to the scene at 12.40am.
His colleague found Mr Hourihane had no pulse when they arrived.
They cut his clothes and necklace with a shears and commenced CPR.
Mr Hourihane was not breathing so they applied an airway therapy to get oxygen into his lungs and continued CPR.
Paramedics then arrived with more advanced airway and defibrillator machinery, the court heard.
The fire service continued CPR until the patient was stretchered into the ambulance, and while they travelled to Cork University Hospital.
Dr Eoin Fogarty, a consultant in emergency medicine, attended to Mr Hourihane in CUH that night.
His statement was accepted by the defence and read as evidence to the court.
He received a phone call at 1.31am to attend to a patient who was in cardiac arrest due to trauma.
“I found a male patient to be critically unwell. He had multiple cardiac arrests and was being tended to [by two named doctors and anaesthetists]."
He said that Mr Hourihane had wounds on his head and severe facial swelling.
His pupils were enlarged and showed no response to light, Dr Fogarty said.
Despite multiple interventions and efforts to save him, Mr Hourihane was pronounced dead that morning by Dr Fogarty at 2.16am.
Garda Derry O’Brien of Angelsea St Garda Station in Cork also responded to the incident that night.
He had initially received a call at about midnight to go to Fitzgerald’s Park [near the crime scene] because “a group’s fighting and someone will get killed". He responded with Gda Elizabeth McCarthy. But when they arrived in the area “everything was quiet, there was no sign of anyone fighting.” At 12.46am, they received a second call directing them back again to the Mardyke Walk area, following reports of a fire and a man injured.
There, they were met by ambulance staff working to save Mr Hourihane. Gda O'Brien then gathered information from witnesses present.
One of two men accused of Mr Hourihane's murder, James Brady, 28, sat in court throughout the trial in the Central Criminal Court in Waterford in front of Justice Deirdre Murphy and a jury of seven women and five men.
Mr Brady, of Shannon Lawn in Mayfield, Cork has pleaded not guilty to Mr Hourihane's murder.
He is accused of kicking Mr Hourihane, 53, “like a football” in the head and the groin as part of a "sustained" assault on October 13, 2019 at a ‘tented village’ where Mr Hourihane was living at the time off Mardyke Walk in Cork city.
Another man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is also charged with Mr Hourihane’s murder. He faces an additional charge of criminal damage to a tent on the same date and will be tried separately.
Mr Hourihane, a father of one, was a trained chef and worked for some time for the Hilton Hotel group in the UK.
He was originally from the Sheep's Head Peninsula outside Bantry in west Cork.
He suffered extensive lung hemorrhaging due to blunt force, and head and facial trauma and died at Cork University Hospital after the assault.