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Man goes on trial for murder of Sunset House barman shot five times in the head

Michael Barr was managing the pub when he was shot seven times in total.

The scene of the shooting in April of last year.
The scene of the shooting in April of last year.

A MAN ACCUSED of murdering the manager of the Sunset House pub in Dublin last year is “inextricably linked” to the shooting, the Special Criminal Court has heard.

Eamonn Cumberton (30) of Mountjoy Street, Dublin 7, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of 35-year old Michael Barr in the Sunset House pub in Dublin’s north inner city on 25 April 2016.

Dominic McGinn SC opened the prosecution case today.

He told the court that Barr was the manager of the pub, where, on the day in question, he started working at 5:20pm.

The court heard that sometime between 8:30pm and 9:33pm, when the emergency services were called, two men wearing masks and boiler suits “burst” into the pub.

McGinn said the evidence will be that the men “targeted” Barr, shooting him multiple times in the head and neck.

The barrister said the court will hear that shortly after the shooting, three people were seen on nearby Walsh Road attempting to set fire to a silver Audi car.

The court heard the evidence will be that the gardai arrived, extinguished the fire before it had taken hold, and that items of relevance were found on the rear seat, including loaded and cocked firearms, masks, balaclavas and boiler suits.

McGinn said that back at the Sunset House, the emergency services had arrived but were unable to assist Mr Barr, who was pronounced dead at 10:12pm.

He had been shot seven times, with five shots to the head and one each to the shoulder and neck, the court heard.

McGinn said that ballistics evidence will show the shots had been fired from a firearm found in the Audi.

He further stated that on the day after the shooting Cumberton and another man, neither carrying luggage, boarded a flight to Thailand.

Cumberton was arrested on 27 May, the court heard.

McGinn said the court will hear evidence that analysis showed the accused man’s DNA was consistent with a mixed profile found on a black baseball cap and rubber mask found in the Audi.

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The barrister said the prosecution case is that Cumberton is “inextricably linked to the items found in the Audi, themselves inextricably linked” to the shooting.

This evidence was to be seen in combination with the accused man’s behaviour after the shooting, McGinn added.

Bernard Condon SC, for the accused man, told the court that the defence will be challenging all of the prosection’s evidence.

The trial will therefore be heard in voir dire – or ‘a trial within a trial’ – in order for the judges to determine the admissibility of the evidence.

The trial was adjourned today in order for Condon to consider additional evidence, and resumes tomorrow morning/this morning in front of Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, sitting with Judge Patricia Ryan and Judge James Faughnan.

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Daniel Hickey

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