Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Wednesday 6 December 2023 Dublin: 8°C
Sasko Lazarov/ File photo of gardaí at the scene of the stabbing in Donaghmede.

Nurse tells murder trial man had knife 'embedded' in chest with handle 'snapped off'

Gary Watson is charged with murdering former soldier Warren O’Connor nine years ago.

A NURSE HAS told a murder trial how she discovered a man had a knife “embedded” in his chest with the handle “snapped off” after she ran to his assistance following a row.

Alison Boyd was giving evidence today in the Central Criminal Court trial of Gary Watson (35), who is charged with murdering former soldier Warren O’Connor (24) nine years ago.

Watson, with an address at Millbrook Avenue, Kilbarrack, Dublin 13, has pleaded not guilty to murdering O’Connor at Hole in the Wall Road, Donaghmede, Dublin 13, on 16 January 2010.

Watson also denies assaulting Philip Woodcock (34), causing him harm on the same occasion, and producing a knife to intimidate another person in the course of a dispute.

The trial has previously heard that a fight ensued between two groups of men after Woodcock removed the fuse and cut power to his neighbour’s apartment so an allegedly “noisy house party” would end and the occupants would leave.

Giving evidence today, Boyd told prosecution counsel James Dwyer SC she lived in Newgrove Estate, Donaghmede, which faced onto Hole in the Wall Road and was working as a nurse at the time.

Boyd testified that she was on the computer in her front bedroom when she heard a “loud bang” outside. As she looked out the window, Boyd said she saw two cars on Hole in the Wall Road. One of the cars looked like a Ford Focus and the other car was dark in colour, she said.

About five men got out of the Ford Focus car and they were in their early 20s, she explained. “One of these men went over to the dark car and kicked it and the others were milling around the Focus car,” she said.

Boyd said she moved away from the window to turn off the bedroom light and when she returned to the window she saw about 10 people gathered at the railings outside.

“I saw someone slumped against the railings and someone shouted ‘he’s been stabbed’,” she said, adding that there was a lot of shouting at the time and she rang an ambulance.

The witness said three men ran in the direction of Trinity Sports and Leisure Club on Hole in the Wall Road. One of these men was wearing a hoodie but she could not remember what colour it was, she said.

Grabbed towels and ran outside 

The witness said she grabbed two towels from her house before she ran outside to the man who was lying on his back. A friend was “crouched down” beside him and another man was on his other side, she indicated.

Boyd testified that one of the man’s friends could not get a pulse from him so she tried to get one before the paramedics arrived. She told Dwyer the man who was lying on the ground had a knife “embedded” in his chest with the handle “snapped off”.

She said the knife was about two to three inches in width and “protruded” about two inches from the left-hand side of his chest. “[The knife] looked like it was in his heart,” she said, adding that the man was unresponsive.

Rachel Foy told Dwyer she was also living in Newgrove Estate, Donaghmede, at the time. She was watching television in her front room when she heard a “big bang” outside. As she looked out the window, Foy said she saw two cars in the middle of the road, one was a silver Ford Focus and the other was a dark car.

Foy said she went upstairs to her brother’s bedroom and she saw “a gang of people” standing on the footpath and on the road. “I heard screaming and the name ‘Warren’ being shouted and then I heard ‘get it into him’,” she said, adding that she did not have difficulty hearing this.

The witness said she saw someone stab a man and he fell to the ground, but she did not see who had stabbed the man. “A couple of boys” then ran towards Trinity Sports and Leisure Club, she said, and her neighbour who was a nurse came out of her house to help the man who was lying on the ground.

Foy’s brother, Gary Foy, gave evidence in the trial yesterday. He testified that he heard a man wearing a white hoodie say ‘get that into you’ and saw him make a stabbing motion towards another man’s chest during the row.

The trial continues tomorrow before Mr Justice Michael White and a jury of seven men and five women.

Comments are closed due to ongoing legal proceedings.