A witness has described how Irish boxing champion Kevin Sheehy fought to get up off the ground before a UK-registered jeep ran him over at speed.
"People were screaming. The jeep tried to go for all of us then," Derek Hanlon told the Central Criminal Court today.
Mr Hanlon was giving evidence on Tuesday in the trial of Logan Jackson (31), who is charged with murdering Mr Sheehy (20) in Limerick city over two years ago.
Mr Jackson with an address at Longford Road, Coventry, England has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to Mr Sheehy's manslaughter at Hyde Road in Limerick city on July 1st, 2019.
Mr Sheehy, a five times Irish boxing champion, died after being struck by a vehicle. His body was discovered lying on the road at about 4.40am.
'Having a few words'
Giving evidence today, Mr Hanlon told prosecution counsel Dean Kelly SC that he was walking to his cousin's house on Hyde Road in Limerick at about 4.15am on the morning of July 1st, 2019.
Mr Hanlon testified that he stopped to talk to someone he knew on Hyde Road, and they were having "a laugh and a joke". Mr Sheehy then came out of one of the houses on Hyde Road and joined in their conversation. "He's a boxer, so there is always a bit of slagging between me and Kevin," he said.
The witness said "lads" were there that he did not know and one of them was older, about 30 years of age and had an English accent. Mr Hanlon said Mr Sheehy and the man with the English accent were "having a few words".
Mr Hanlon agreed with Mr Kelly that the two men were kind of arguing but "nothing physical" happened.
Describing the man with the English accent, Mr Hanlon said he had no top on, was of stocky build and had a tattoo on his back. "A small fella" with dark hair was with him, who was in his early 20s, he said.
After the argument, Mr Hanlon said that Mr Sheehy was laughing and strolled down the road with his cousin. "They were going to the south-side, back up home," he added.
Mr Hanlon said he began to walk with Mr Sheehy and his cousin.
Mr Hanlon said he saw the man with the accent get into a Mitsubishi jeep which had an English registration. When asked which seat of the vehicle he had got into, the witness said he did not know.
Mr Hanlon told Mr Kelly in his evidence that he saw the jeep move and drove towards Carey's Road.
'Trying to fight'
Recalling the events of the early morning of July 1st, Mr Hanlon said the jeep then turned around and "came driving back down the same inside road".
The witness said the jeep was driving "very fast towards us" on the inside road and mounted the path.
"I got out of the way, into one of the gardens. I then heard two bangs, the first bang was easier or softer than the second one," he said.
"I came out and found [a named man] on the ground, he was close to me. I tried to get him out of the way. Kevin was further away, around 20 to 30 yards and was lying on the ground. He was on the inside road near the grass," he continued.
Describing to the jury what happened next, Mr Hanlon said that the jeep "went down the road again, and it rolled over Kevin".
"Kevin was trying to fight. He tried to get up off the ground before the jeep hit him a second time, but he wasn't able to," he said.
Mr Hanlon told Mr Kelly that the vehicle was going very fast and the wheels of the jeep had hit or "went over" Kevin a second time.
"People were screaming. The jeep tried to go for all of us then," he said.
When asked what happened next, Mr Hanlon said the jeep went back up towards Clancy's Road and came back again.
He said Mr Sheehy's cousin had tried his best to save Kevin's life and gave him "oxygen".
The witness told Mr Kelly that he did not know if the jeep hit Mr Sheehy a third time nor where the vehicle went after this.
"I just sat on the ground on my own," he concluded, adding that he was not able to see how Mr Sheehy was at this stage.
Mr Hanlon will be cross-examined by defence counsel Michael Bowman SC, for Mr Jackson, this afternoon.
Mr Jackson also denies intentionally or recklessly engaging in conduct which created a substantial risk of death or serious harm to others to wit; driving a Mitsubishi jeep vehicle dangerously at high speed in the direction of pedestrians on the same occasion.
The charge of endangerment is contrary to Section 13 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997.
The jury have been told that Mr Jackson is a native of Coventry in the UK and has "some family connections" in Limerick.
In his opening address, prosecution counsel Dean Kelly SC told the jury that Mr Jackson "thundered" a jeep into the 20-year-old before driving over him again at speed.
The trial has also heard that Mr Sheehy and Mr Jackson had "an exchange" moments after leaving a house party where they had gone to celebrate Limerick’s Munster hurling final victory over Tipperary in 2019.
The court was told that "some exception was taken by something that was said or words spoken".
The trial continues before Ms Justice Eileen Creedon and a jury of six men and six women.