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Jury to resume deliberations in Waterford murder trial

The jury in the trial of a 36-year-old man who admits manslaughter but denies murder will resume deliberating on a verdict tomorrow.

Maurice Boland, from Bridgeview Close, Tallow, Co Waterford, has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of Cian Gallagher at Barrack St in Tallow on 10 November 2022.

The jury was told Mr Gallagher died eight days after an encounter with the accused during which he was punched and fell to the ground.

In closing arguments the prosecution said the accused man had “targeted” and “relentlessly pursued” Mr Gallagher as he walked alone on the street before “proudly and boastfully” describing the assault as “a Conor McGregor knockout” after he floored the victim who was backing away from him.

The defence argued it was clear from evidence given by the pathologist that the fatal injury suffered by Mr Gallagher was caused by a fall and not the punch from the accused.

Senior Counsel Michael Bowman said the “ludicrous and offensive” reference to Conor McGregor made by his client was no more than a “drunken mouthing off”

At the opening of the trial, the jury was told that Mr Gallagher, who was from Dublin, had been working on a construction project in the area. He had gone for dinner with colleagues but went alone to a pub afterwards. While walking back to his accommodation he met the accused man who had been drinking in Lismore and had got the bus home to Tallow.

CCTV showed Mr Boland cross over the road to where Mr Gallagher but there was no footage from this side of the road. The footage then showed the two men cross back to the other side of the road.

The footage showed Mr Boland punching at Mr Gallagher who had his hands up and was backing away.

Prosecuting counsel Roisin Lacey said at one point a punch was thrown by Mr Boland and when it connected it caused Mr Gallagher to fall to the ground.

“He did not get up again,” she said.

Witnesses who came on the scene said Mr Boland was boasting about knocking Mr Gallagher out and compared himself to Conor McGregor.

He later told gardaí that Mr Gallagher had swiped at him after saying something to him about the Russians and that he had then hit him. He described what happened as a “pure accident”.

In his charge to the jury, Mr Justice Paul McDermott said the key issue was whether or not the accused man intended to kill or cause serious injury in striking Mr Gallagher.

The jury began deliberating just afer midday and will resume deliberating tomorrow.

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