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Cork murder trial told victim died of a brain injury

The trial of two men accused of murdering a 29-year-old man in Carrigaline in Co Cork in December 2022 was told that the deceased died of a brain injury due to blunt force trauma to the head as a probable consequence of blows, and a fall.

21-year-old Ricardo Hoey, of Ardcarrig, Carrigaline, and 19-year-old Jordan Deasy of Ravensdale, Heron’s Road, Carrigaline both pleaded not guilty to the murder of Matt O’Neill at Glenwood Estate in Carrigaline in Co Cork, on 28 December, 2022, when arraigned before the Central Criminal Court in Cork today.

Opening the Prosecution’s case, Senior Counsel Jane Hyland told the jury of 6 women and 6 men that what she would be telling them in her opening statement was not evidence but an outline of the evidence they would hear in the case.

She said that they would hear that as a young man, Matt O’Neill was a lover of sports and the outdoors but later in his teenage years he developed an addiction to alcohol.

At the time of his assault, he was living with his parents Pat and Eileen at their home in the Glenwood estate in Carrigaline.

He had held down several jobs over the years but in the year before he died “his addictions had taken over and he wasn’t working”, Ms Hyland said.

She said jurors would hear evidence that on the evening of 28 December, 2022, Mr O’Neill left home to go to a nearby garage before returning to the Glenwood estate.

A witness would tell the court that at 7.55pm, he noticed an Opal Astra car in the middle of the road, with two men standing over it, and a third man lying on the ground.

This witness will say that when he approached the two men, they left the scene after an exchange. He found Matt O’Neill on the ground and a passing medical consultant tried to assist, while the emergency services were called.

Ms Hylane said they would hear that Mr O’Neill’s condition deteriorated and he was moved to CUH where he was placed on life support. He never regained consciousness and he died on 8 January when his life support was turned off.

She said there would be evidence that within an hour of the incident, Mr Hoey went to the local garda station and subsequently, Mr Deasy was brought to the station.

Ms Hyland said it will be the State’s case that when the car stopped both men got out, and Mr Hoey allegedly pushed Mr O’Neill.

Then while he was on the ground, Mr Deasy allegedly punched him a number of times in the face, and it would be alleged that Mr Hoey subsequently kicked Mr O’Neill in the head.

The jury will see CCTV footage of the incident and of the movements of all three men before and after the incident.

The car was also seized and there will be evidence that there was no visible dent to it.

The jury will also hear evidence from State Pathologist Dr Margot Bolster that the cause of death was a brain injury which was due to blunt force trauma to the head, as the probable consequence of blows, and a fall.

She also found that Mr O’Neill had intoxicants in his system at the time.

There will also be evidence that Mr O’Neill’s blood was allegedly found on one of Mr Hoey’s socks.

Both men have pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr O’Neill.

The case before Ms Justice Siobhan Lankford at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork is expected to take up to three weeks.

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