03 Jul 2022

 Deceased's son describes last day with father – Day 3 of murder trial

The son of a man who was allegedly gunned down by assassins described his last day with his father at the Central Criminal Court on Wednesday (April 6).
Matthew Gralton (22), a native of Leitrim 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 of Christy Daly (47) at Bog Lane, Kilbride, Clara, Co Offaly.
Mr Daly was last seen by his son on December 29, 2013 and gardai found his body on January 7, 2014.
His son told prosecuting counsel Patrick Marrinan SC that he spent the day with his father and that they planned to meet up again that evening, but his father did not answer when he called.
He agreed with Mr Marrinan that he was close to his father, who had been released from prison in December 2013.
On December 29 they met at a shop in Tullamore and drove to his uncle Mick's house in Navan. He said it was a social visit and they drank several cups of tea, inquired about buying a jeep, and left after about two hours.
On the way home they stopped at a chip shop in Trim and his father paid for their dinner. When his father dropped him off in Tullamore he asked: "Are you coming for a drive later on?" He told him he would call him.
He went to his mother's house and about 90 minutes later he tried to call his father using his mother's phone, but it went straight to voice mail. He did not leave a message.
Mr Daly's body was found in a drain in a remote area of Clara on January 7, 2014. Mr Marrinan has previously told the jury that it is the State's case that a criminal gang believed Mr Daly found drugs worth e30,000 that had been stashed on the remote lane where he lived in Clara, Co Offaly. In opening the trial Mr Marrinan said that it was assumed that Mr Daly had taken the stash and the owner of the drugs sent for "assassins" from Dublin who shot Mr Daly dead. 
Mr Marrinan said it was the State's case that neither of the accused were the gunmen but that they "had a role to play" in the death of Mr Daly.
The jury was also shown CCTV footage taken from six locations in Offaly. Garda John Doran of Tullamore Garda Station told Mr Marrinan that footage taken from the car park of Jel's Kitchen in Clara showed the two accused getting into a black Vauxhall shortly after 2pm on December 29.
The trial, which is expected to last up to four weeks, continues today (Thursday april 7) in front of Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of six men and six women.

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