We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.


Brothers cleared of murder but found guilty of lesser offences over attack of man who died two weeks later

Ian Connaghan (34) and Daniel Connaghan (43) had both pleaded not guilty.

TWO BROTHERS HAVE been cleared of murder but found guilty of lesser offences by a unanimous Central Criminal Court jury after they attacked a 55-year-old man who died two weeks later.

At the Central Criminal Court this evening the jury, which had deliberated for 14 hours, returned a unanimous verdict of not guilty of murder for Ian Connaghan (34) and Daniel Connaghan (43).

However, the jury of seven men and five women found Ian Connaghan guilty of manslaughter and Daniel Connaghan guilty of intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Michael ‘Mick’ Mulvey in 2019.

The brothers, both of Ashington Rise, Navan Road, Cabra, Dublin 7, had pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Mulvey on the Navan Road, close to the Phoenix Park.

It had been the State’s case that Ian Connaghan attacked Mulvey near The Halfway House Pub and left him on the ground, while Mulvey was subsequently given “a severe beating” at a roundabout by Ian and his older brother Daniel.

The prosecution contended that the injuries sustained by Mulvey substantially contributed to his death but were not the sole cause.

However, defence counsel for Ian Connaghan, Garnet Orange SC, told the jury that Mulvey was a man who was not “in good condition health wise” and that after the assault, he had gone back to the pub and spent the night drinking. Counsel put it to the jury that there was “no serious injury” involved and that it was implausible that the death of Mulvey 13 days later was a “natural and probable conclusion”.

The jury heard that State Pathologist Dr Heidi Okkers found that Mulvey’s right ribs had been fractured, that there was 800ml of blood in his lungs and there was air escaping into the chest cavity. Her view was that his cause of death was blunt force trauma to the chest with ischemic heart disease as a contributory factor.

However, the defence obtained a report from Professor Jack Crane, who found that the cause of death was ischemic heart disease.

The Director of Public Prosecutions had also sought an opinion from UK pathologist Dr Stuart Hamilton, who said that in his view Mulvey had ischemic heart disease but that he would not have died but for the rib fractures.

In Ian Connaghan’s case, the jury were satisfied that his actions caused Mulvey’s death but were not satisfied that he had the requisite intent for murder.

Mulvey, a builder, died on 27 November, 2019, two weeks after he suffered injuries during the beating on 14 November, 2019.

The brothers had also pleaded not guilty to intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Mulvey at the Navan Road on 14 November, 2019, and had further pleaded not guilty to assault causing harm to Mulvey on the same occasion.

No verdict was recorded in relation to Ian Connaghan regarding the two assault charges, with a similar no verdict recorded for Daniel Connaghan for the charge of assault causing harm.

Yesterday, the jury foreman handed trial judge Mr Justice Paul Burns a note asking to clarify the word ‘simpliciter’ with regard to a not guilty of murder verdict. Today, before the jury resumed deliberations, the judge told the jury that in relation to a verdict ‘simpliciter’ meant ‘simply’ or ‘straightforward with nothing added’.

Eoin Reynolds and Paul Neilan