Eoin Reynolds and Alison O'Riordan
A man accused of murdering his former partner's boyfriend denied to gardai that he had "bad intentions" towards the deceased and said he acted in self-defence when he grabbed something sharp and stabbed the man three times.
Nassar Ahmed (42) told gardaí that the deceased Eoin Boylan kept coming at him, but agreed that CCTV footage showed Mr Boylan backing away after Mr Ahmed struck the first blow with the sharp object.
He told gardaí that he couldn't remember what he used to stab Mr Boylan and couldn't remember where he threw it after walking away from the scene.
Mr Ahmed (42), of The Mews, Kilrush Road, Ennis, Co Clare has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of Eoin Boylan (32) at Gordon Drive, Cloughleigh, Ennis, on April 14th, 2020.
Mr Ahmed offered to plead guilty to manslaughter in advance of the trial but the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has refused to accept the plea.
Detective Garda Brendan Rouine on Thursday told prosecution counsel Lorcan Staines SC that he and other gardaí interviewed the accused man at Ennis Garda Station on April 15th, 2020.
He agreed that in the third interview Mr Ahmed told gardaí that he grabbed something and used it to defend himself, adding: "He came into me, I didn't go to him."
He said he couldn't remember what he grabbed and added: "It's not like I meant to kill him. I never meant to touch him, I'm sorry he's dead." He said he had no reason to want to kill Mr Boylan and denied that he had "bad intentions for weeks" prior to the stabbing.
In the fourth and final interview gardaí played CCTV footage of the incident to Mr Ahmed. He agreed that following the first blow with the sharp object Mr Boylan was backing away.
He said he wished it had all been a bad dream and said he felt "very bad" for Mr Boylan, for himself and for "everyone around". He said it could have been avoided "by letting him hit me, but he keep calling me names, calling me piece of shit in front of everyone."
Jo Morris, who lived on Gordon Drive, told prosecution counsel Lorcan Staines SC that following the stabbing she was assisted by others to hold Mr Boylan down at the scene as he kept trying to sit up. He looked very grey in colour, she said.
"I lifted his top and saw one stab wound and when I pulled it up a bit I could see two more stab wounds," she said, adding that there was very little blood.
Serena Maloney, the daughter of the previous witness, testified that she heard people shouting on Gordon Drive. "One man was tall and the other man was wearing a red baseball hat. They were pushing each other and arguing and stuff," she said.
Ms Maloney said the man with the red hat "did something" and that Mr Boylan had bent over in pain and walked into the garden. The witness got into her mum's car and they drove to the top of the road.
"I saw Eoin in pain, my mum got out of the car and tried to do First Aid on him, but she couldn't do anything," she continued.
Ms Maloney said she saw a sharp object in the hand of the man wearing the red hat. When asked by Mr Staines to describe the object, the witness said: "I can't remember now, it was sharp anyways."
She said the man with the red hat then "just walked up the road like nothing happened".
Ms Maloney said that Mr Boylan was lying on the step outside the door of his house.
Under cross-examination, the witness agreed with Michael Bowman SC, defending, that she had said in her statement that she saw something "like a skinny long metal object" in the hand of the man with the red hat and that it definitely was not a knife.
She agreed that it all happened very quickly and that both men looked quite aggressive towards each other.
In re-examination, Mr Staines asked the witness what the implement was if she didn't think it was a screwdriver and definitely not a knife. "I can't remember, it was two years ago," she replied.
The statement of Anwar Hassan was then read into the record by prosecution counsel Lorcan Connolly BL. In his statement, Mr Hassan said that he was at home on April 14th when he got a call from Mr Ahmed indicating he was in trouble and could he collect him.
"I said to him what kind of trouble, he said he couldn't tell me now and if I went to collect him he would tell me. I felt from his voice that it was serious," said Mr Hassan.
Mr Hassan said the accused got into his car after 3pm that day and said that he was in trouble.
Mr Ahmed told Mr Hassan said his former partner's boyfriend had come out of the house at Gordon Drive.
"Nassar said he grabbed a metal type object from the ground and tried to defend himself from the guy attacking him. He said he tried to defend himself and stabbed him [Mr Boylan]," said Mr Hassan.
Mr Hassan said he asked Mr Ahmed if the man was hurt and the accused replied "probably".
"He [Mr Ahmed] came across as confused and frightened. I told him to call the gardaí and he said he had already done that. He next asked me to go to my house as he needed to cut his hair," said Mr Hassan.
Mr Hassan brought the accused to his house, where Mr Ahmed cut his hair with a trimmers in the garden. Mr Hassan then dropped the defendant to the garda station.
In his opening speech Lorcan Staines SC, prosecuting, told the jurors that the issue of self-defence would have to be considered in the trial.
The trial continues tomorrow before Ms Justice Eileen Creedon and a jury of seven men and five women.