Tadhg Butler trial: Kilkenny accused found near his home, court hears

Brian Keyes


Brian Keyes

A Waterford murder trial has heard that the accused man was found crouched down behind a wall near his home, shortly after a stabbing in the house.

The arresting officer gave the evidence   in the Central Criminal Court trial of a 37-year-old father of five, charged with murdering his nephew’s friend at a party.

Tadhg Butler, with an address at Seafield in Tramore, is accused of murdering 25-year-old Michael O’Dwyer on 10th January 2014. He has pleaded not   guilty.

Detective Sergeant Shay Keevans testified that he arrived to the Seafield holiday homes that night to find a man being tended to on the ground. He told Denis Vaughan Buckley SC, prosecuting, that this man had a wound to his chest, was very pale and in need of medical attention.

After making enquiries as to what had happened, he knocked on Mr Butler’s door. He got no reply and tried to open it, but it was locked.

He directed that the door would be forced, and he and a number of colleagues then entered the house.

Nobody was found inside, but D Sgt Keevans noticed a pool of blood in the hall and an open window at the rear of the living area.

A colleague then brought it to his attention that there was a man in a laneway outside. The sergeant went out to the laneway.

“I went to the end of the wall, and crouched in at the wall was the defendant, Tadhg Butler,” he said.

D Sgt Keevans arrested the accused on suspicion of assault causing harm to Mr O’Dwyer

The mother of Mr Butler’s children also gave evidence yesterday. Mary Burke explained that they were already separated when she went to see him in Cork prison in the days after Mr O’Dwyer’s death.

She told Mr Vaughan Buckley that he told her that ‘he thought it might end up being manslaughter’.

“He said he didn’t remember what happened, he was after drinking whiskey and taking valium, and he’d only stabbed the boy once,” she testified

“He said he was very sorry for what had happened,” she added. “He said he was a very nice boy.”

Under cross examination by Michael Bowman SC, defending, she denied that she had introduced manslaughter into the conversation.

Mr Bowman suggested that his client hadn’t wanted to talk about it, but knew that the deceased had been stabbed only once.

“He said he thought it would be reduced to three years,” she said.

She refuted the barrister’s suggestion that she was skewing or misrepresenting what took place because their relationship was at a low ebb and she was happy to have him out of her life.

“We were already parted,” she replied.

She also denied saying what she had said because she was angry with him about another matter.

“That had nothing to do with it,” she insisted.

“You took what you heard, you twisted it and you’ve given that evidence today,” suggested Mr Bowman.

“No,” she replied.

The trial continues on Monday before Mr Justice Paul Butler and a jury of six men and six women.