xA-22-year old Leitrim man has gone on trial for muder at the Central Criminal Court.
The court was told by a prosecuting barrister that Dublin “assassins” murdered a man living alone in a country lane because he found a €30,000 stash of drugs belonging to a criminal gang.
Leitrim native Matthew Gralton (22), with an address at Mt Prospect in Co Roscommon, and Ross Allen (25), with addresses in Carrickmines, Co Dublin and Clara in Offaly, have pleaded not guilty to the murder.
Patrick Marrinan SC opened the trial of the two men accused of murder for their alleged part in the killing of 47-year-old Christy Daly at Bog Lane, Kilbride, Clara, Co Offaly on a date between December 29, 2013 and January 7, 2014.
Mr Marrinan told the jury of six men and six women that the prosecution's case is that both men admitted to being involved in the killing during interviews with gardai in February 2014.
He said that the jury would hear that neither admitted to being the actual gunman, but that "Ross Allen and Matthew Gralton had a role to play" in the killing.
He said the prosecution would show that Mr Allen hid drugs worth €30,000 on the laneway where Mr Daly lived, but when he returned to pick them up on December 29, 2013 they were missing.
He said this was reported to a Mr X, who owned the drugs, who sent for two "assassins from Dublin", who killed Mr Daly.
Mr Marrinan said that the jury would hear from state pathologist Marie Cassidy that Mr Daly suffered multiple gunshot wounds and blunt force trauma "that would indicate a beating".
He said eight 9mm luger bullets were discovered near where Mr Daly lived.
Two similar bullets were found in a Volvo car that was parked by the quarry where Mr Daly's body was found.
He said Mr Daly was estranged from his wife and was released from prison in 2013. After his release he went to live in a caravan at Bog Lane, an isolated country lane, where he dealt in motor cars.
Early on December 29, he said Mr Daly was with another man and that they both noticed two people on the laneway. Mr Marrinan said one of those men was Mr Allen.
Mr Daly then left to go socialising in Navan, Co Meath with his brother. His son left him home again at 8pm that evening.
"That was the last that was heard of Christy Daly," said Mr Marrinan. His body was discovered by gardai in a drain on January 7, 2014.
On the second day of the trial, yesterday (Tuesday) a witness told the court that Daly was worried about men in dark clothes hanging out near his home.
Gary Gonoude from Daingean said he towed a car to Mr Daly's home on December 29, 2013, the day he went missing.
As they entered the laneway leading to Mr Daly's caravan he said they spotted "three or four lads" wearing dark clothes and with hoods over their heads. He thought they had two dogs with them.
He said Mr Daly wondered what they were doing there.
When they reached the caravan they spotted dog paw prints around the door of the home. "
“He said: “someone's probably tried to break into my caravan,"" said Mr Gonoude.
"And then he went in to see if there was anything missing."
The trial continues before Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of six men and six women this afternoon.
- You can follow the case on the Leitrim Observer website www.leitrimobserver.ie