September 24, 2023

Trial of suspect accused of murdering Kilkenny man collapses

The trial of a man accused of murdering a Kilkenny man in Dublin city-centre has dramatically collapsed after one of the jurors believed they overheard gardaí discussing witness statements in the courtroom.

The trial of Damien Singleton (30), who is accused of the murder of father-of-one Peter Donnelly (pictured together above) on O’Connell Street in June 2019, got underway on Monday in Court 9 at the Criminal Courts of Justice (CCJ).

Peter ‘Rocky’ Donnelly was a popular Kilkenny man who had bravely battled addiction problems for years and had been living in Dublin in the months leading up to his killing.

Mr Singleton, of no fixed abode, pleaded not guilty to the murder of his friend, Mr Donnelly (39), but pleaded guilty to the charge of manslaughter.

The court earlier heard from Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margot Bolster that Mr Donnelly (39) died due to stabbing injuries inflicted upon him in the early hours of June 11, 2019.

Before the Central Criminal Court trial got underway today, the jury foreman passed a note to Ms Justice Tara Burns raising issues on behalf of jurors. The note said a juror indicated he believed he overheard partial conversations between gardaí about witness statements.

The note was received by the judge and the jury was given a break for it to be read to counsel for the prosecution and defence.

When the jury of eight men and four women was recalled by Ms Justice Burns, she told them that “unfortunately” they would have to be discharged.

The judge fixed Monday of next week for the case to be relisted for mention.


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