Killer appeals Limerick murder conviction


Barry Doyle, who is appealing his conviction for the murder of Shane Geoghegan
Barry Doyle, who is appealing his conviction for the murder of Shane Geoghegan

by Andrew Carey

A Dublin man is appealing his conviction for the murder of Limerick rugby player Shane Geoghegan on November 9, 2008, claiming that Gardaí induced him to admit to the crime  over a course of 15 interviews.

Barry Doyle (29) of Portland Row, Dublin 1 who moved to Limerick City around the time of the shooting, pleaded not guilty to the murder when his case was listed for trial.

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A jury at the Central Criminal Court found him guilty of the charge and he was given the mandatory life sentence by Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan on February 16, 2012.

Doyle admitted to Garda during interviews that he shot Mr Geoghegan in a case of mistaken identity.

This week, his appeal case on that conviction continues after he claimed that Gardai induced him to make those admissions.

His counsel Martin O’Rourke, told the Court of Appeal that the admissions were obtained in a “non-voluntary” manner and should have not been used in evidence.

He said that Doyle claimed threats and inducements and psychological oppression was used by gardaí during those interviews.

Claims that Victoria Gunnery, the mother of one of Doyle’s young children who had a hole in his heart, were both used against him as tools of psychological oppression were also put before the appeal court.

Doyle was told during Garda interviews that Ms Gunnery was in custody away from their child for the same incident which had him in custody. At this time, Doyle believed that mother and child had a hospital appointment the following Tuesday, counsel said.

Gardaí were telling Doyle Ms Gunnery was in custody away from her sick child because of him and he could ‘do something about that’. They asked him to take responsibility for his actions, to tell the truth about what happened or he would end up in a lot of hardship, he said.

Mr O’Rourke also submitted that Doyle’s admissions were also made without him having reasonable access to legal advice and when he decided to forgo his right to silence.

The admission was first made during the 15th interview and Mr O’Rourke contended that the prosecution had failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Doyle did not make his admissions because of inducement.

The case continues before the Court of Appeal this week.