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Vincent Ryan died after he was shot in the head from close range, court hears

Acting State Pathologist Dr Linda Mulligan found three bullet wounds when she examined the body of 25-year-old Vincent Ryan.

Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

A DUBLIN MAN died from a gunshot wound that went through his head, a pathologist has told the trial of two men accused of his murder.

Acting State Pathologist Dr Linda Mulligan told prosecution counsel Paul Burns SC at the Central Criminal Court that she found three bullet wounds when she examined the body of 25-year-old Vincent Ryan one day after he was shot while sitting in his car outside his partner’s home.

The trial also heard that a man using the name of one of the accused called gardai five days before Mr Ryan’s death saying he had been in a fight with “one of the Ryans” and was “anxious and fearful that someone was watching his apartment”.

Paul O’Beirne (36) of Colepark Drive, Ballyfermot and Jeffrey Morrow (37) of Burnell Court, Coolock have pleaded not guilty to murdering 25-year-old Vincent Ryan at McKee Road in Finglas on 29 February 2016.

Dr Mulligan described a bullet wound that she said entered Ryan’s head to the right side of the forehead and was 2.5cm in diameter. It had black staining around the border which Dr Mulligan said occurs when a person is shot at close range.

There was a second wound on the left side of the forehead which Dr Mulligan said had
the appearance of an exit wound.

A second gunshot wound went through his right hand. A third entered the back of the right shoulder and Dr Mulligan found a wound to the base of the neck which she said also had the appearance of an exit wound. A toxicology test showed that Mr Ryan had no alcohol or drugs in his system at the time of his death.

In her conclusion Dr Mulligan said she had identified three gunshot wounds including the “through and through” wound to the head. The wound to the head, she said, caused massive damage including brain swelling and bleeding and resulted in respiratory arrest and death. She also found “complex skull fractures”.

The cause of death, she said, was the gunshot injury to the head while the injuries to the hand and shoulder contributed to blood loss.

Garda Glynn Miller told Mr Burns that he received a call while on duty on February 24, 2016 from a person calling himself Jeffrey Morrow. The caller seemed “very anxious” and said he had been in a fight with “one of the Ryans and believed someone was checking out his apartment as a result of that fight,” Garda Miller said.

He said the caller did not give any reason for the fight but was “concerned of some form of reprisal as a result.” Garda Miller sent gardai to the scene and told them that the caller said a man was standing beside a white Renault car but the gardai did not find the man. The witness agreed that the caller seemed “genuinely anxious and fearful that someone was watching his apartment.”

Detective Garda Ursula Cummins of the Ballistics Section of the Garda Technical Bureau told Mr Burns she examined the scene around Mr Ryan’s white Volkswagen GTI. She said she found twelve discharged cartridge cases for a 9mm caliber bullet.

She said she was satisfied that each one was discharged from the same gun. She also found a number of discharged bullets at the scene including inside the car. She was satisfied that each one was fired from the same barrel and they were compatible with the discharged cartridge cases found at the scene. 

While she couldn’t say what type of gun was used, she said it would have to be a firearm as described in the the Firearms Act. 
The trial continues in front of Justice Michael White and a jury of eight men and four women.

About the author:

Eoin Reynolds

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