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Man charged with making malicious calls to family of Cameron Blair

The 20-year-old student was fatally stabbed in Cork in January.

Cork District Court
Cork District Court
Image: Courts.ie

A MIDDLE-AGED man has appeared before Cork District Court charged with allegedly making grossly offensive and menacing phone calls to the family of  20-year-old Cameron Blair who was murdered in the city earlier this year.

Noel Barry, of Cherry Tree Road in Cork city, was before Judge James McNulty where he was charged with the offences under Section 13 of the Post Office (Amendment) Act 1951.

Evidence of arrest, charge and caution was received by certificate. 

Det Garda Pat Connery told the court that Mr Barry (45) allegedly made four phone calls to the family of the late Cameron Blair last Friday evening. 

The phone calls occurred between 9.30pm and midnight. The family recorded two of the calls. 

During the calls threats were made to Noel Blair, father of the deceased. His family were allegedly told to “fuck off back to England.”

An alleged threat to kill and harm Mrs Blair and the couple’s teenage son was also made. 

Mr Blair indicated that during the calls he was warned that his family would “never be safe.” 

In another phone call Mr Blair reported that he was told to get his “Loyalist friends” so they could “sort this out on the streets of Shankill Road.”

Det Garda Connery said that the family of the late Cameron Blair informed him that they were deeply emotionally impacted by the threats. 

The brother of the deceased is now ‘alert’ for suspicious activity and the family fear for their safety. 

Det Garda Connery objected to bail for the accused citing the seriousness of the charges and the potential of offences being committed if Mr Barry was granted his freedom. 

He said that the number which was used to call Mr Blair was a number which Mr Barry had previously used to contact Togher Garda Station in Cork city. 

Solicitor Eddie Burke said that his client had fully cooperated with gardai and had voluntarily made himself available to gardai. 

He stated that he had attended at Togher Garda Station and had arranged for his family to hand his phone in to investigating officers. 

Judge James McNulty asked if there was any reality in the “wicked” threats that were allegedly made to the family. He pondered whether they arose as a result of “mad, bad drink talk.” 

Inspector Jason Lynch said that the threats caused “unnecessary anxiety to the Blair family.” 

Judge McNulty said that he respected that the alleged calls caused anxiety and undue worry to the grieving family of a “kind soul.” 

Free Legal aid was granted in the case as Mr Barry is in receipt of disability benefit. 

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Court appearance 

Judge McNulty declined to grant bail in the case. He remanded Mr Barry in custody until his next court appearance today. 

Meanwhile, a teenage boy is serving a life sentence for the murder of Mr Blair. He has lodged an appeal in relation to the sentence imposed on him for the killing. 

The murder of the Cork Institute of Technology student sent shockwaves through the community in Bandon Road last January after he was fatally stabbed at a house party in the city. 

The teen was sentenced to life in prison in relation to the murder of the native of Ballinascarthy in West Cork with a review after 13 years. 

He pleaded guilty to the murder in the Central Criminal Court. 

Mr Justice Paul McDermott said the life of Mr Blair was taken in “an act of extreme violence that was clearly deliberate and unanticipated by him.”

Mr Blair died in Cork University Hospital (CUH)  after he was stabbed in the neck at a house party in Bandon Road in Cork city on January 16th.

The attendance was so large at his funeral service at St Peter’s in Bandon that mourners flowed out from the church on to the steep steps all the way down to the street.

Cameron’s father, Noel, paid tribute to his beloved eldest son at the service. 

Mr Blair was laid to rest in Kilbeg cemetery outside Bandon town. He is survived by his parents and his younger brother.

About the author:

Olivia Kelleher

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