Man pleads guilty to Christmas Eve manslaughter

Published 24/06/2016 | 00:39

David Shanley.
David Shanley.

A COURTOWN defendant pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to the manslaughter of local man John Lawlor on Christmas Eve in 2013.

David Shanley of Courtown Harbour, pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of 48-year-old John Lawlor on December 24 or 25, 2013, at Ballinatray Lower, Courtown Harbour.

Counsel for the prosecution John O’Kelly SC said the plea of guilty to manslaughter is accepted.

Counsel for Mr Shanley, Patrick Gageby SC, said there is a ‘complex inter-family relationship at play’ in the case.

Mr Lawlor, a much-loved father of four, died after sustaining a stab wound during an altercation at his house on Christmas Eve, 2013.

Gardaí were called to the house between midnight and 12.30 a.m. on December 25, to a report of a man having been injured at the house during a possible altercation. On arrival, they found an injured man lying near the entrance of the house, being assisted by passers by.

They then forced their way into the house on Red Row, where they found Mr. Lawlor in an unconscious state. He was later pronounced dead at the scene, and the house was sealed off and preserved for a forensic examination. A knife was recovered as part of the investigation that followed.

The man found outside was taken to Wexford General Hospital. When he was discharged from hospital on Christmas Day, he was arrested on suspicion of assault causing harm, and brought to Enniscorthy Garda Station for questioning. He was released without charge the following day.

On December 4, 2014, David Shanley appeared before Gorey District Court charged with murder. He was then sent forward for trial to the court in Dublin.

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