Saturday 21 September 2019

Will trial hears brothers had 'significant arguments'

William O'Leary
William O'Leary
Charlie O'Leary who is the main prosecution witness.
Noel Hayes

An insurance broker has told the trial of two Wexford men accused of forging the will of a bachelor farmer 'significant arguments' had taken place between one of the accused and his brother who is the main prosecution witness.

Tony Wright provided insurance services to O'Leary International and in December 1998 he said he 'found it difficult to interact with Charles and William if they were in a room together'.

It was day eight of the trial of Noel Hayes (61) and William O'Leary (51) from New Ross, Co Wexford, who have pleaded not guilty to forging the will of Matthew Hayes on a date between December 1998 and January 1999.

The main prosecution witness, Charles O'Leary, previously pleaded guilty and received an 18 month suspended sentence and was ordered to pay €30,000 into an account pending for the next of kin.

Mr Wright told defence counsel for William O'Leary, Michael O'Higgins SC, 'conversations were fairly heated between the two guys and it was hard for us to do business'.

'I had to speak to them individually to let them know what was happening with insurance claims and renewals of policies as I did not have any confidence that they ever spoke to each other.'

He said he had 'a lot of contact' with the two brothers from November 1998 to February 1999 as two accidents had taken place with the company's lorries on November 24, 1998.

'These accidents had an effect on the insurance premiums so I had a lot of contact with Charles and William then,' said Mr Wright.

The trial has now reached its closing stages and the jury of eight men and four women will commence their deliberations on Monday after being addressed by Judge Patricia Ryan.

Wexford People