Longford man goes on trial charged with manslaughter following row outside pub

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

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liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Longford man goes on trial charged with manslaughter following row outside pub

Longford man goes on trial charged with manslaughter following row outside pub

A man has gone on trial charged with the manslaughter of another man following a row outside a pub in Co Longford last year.

Gerard Melia (32), Derrygowna, Lanesboro, Co Longford has pleaded not guilty at Longford Circuit Criminal Court to the unlawful killing of 50-year-old Noel McGann at Leavy's Public House car park, Foigha, Kenagh, Co Longford on August 1, 2019.

Dominic McGinn, SC for the Director of Public  Prosecutions said it would be the State's case Mr Melia punched Mr McGann twice with the latter blow causing the deceased to fall, striking his head off the concrete ground in the process.

Mr McGann was rushed to the Midland Regional Hospital in Mulingar but died three days later as a result of his injuries.

Mr McGinn said Mr Melia was arrested later that evening and brought to Longford Garda Station where he told detectives the incident arose after Mr McGann had been "sneering" at him before asking the deceased outside where Mr McGann allegedly threatened him.

Brendan Grehan SC, for Mr Melia, said it would be the defence's case that the accused struck Mr McGann once and not twice as alleged by the prosecution.

CCTV footage was shown to the jury this afternoon before Judge Keenan Johnston showing both parties inside later outside the pub in conversation.

Evidence was also heard from Ivan Treanor and Alan Ward, both of whom had been socialising inside the pub on the day in question.

The latter said he had observed Mr Melia playing pool with his ten year old son earlier in the day before later returning on his own.

He said Mr McGann was also present with a female companion whom he had been on a first date with.

After going out for a cigarette, he said he saw Mr Melia use his index finger to gesticulate to Mr McGann to follow him outside.

He said he heard Mr Melia tell Mr McGann how he had heard the deceased "talking about" him before Mr McGann replied: "If you want a row, I will f***ing kill you."

Mr Ward said he saw Mr McGann "either push, shove or hit" Mr Melia who then raised his right arm to try and stop Mr McGann as he moved towards him.

He added at that stage, he observed Mr Melia hit him with his left hand, resulting in Mr McGann falling backwards and hitting his head off the ground.

Mr Ward said after striking the deceased Mr Melia a came over and looked at Mr McGann lying on the floor before the former Newtowncashel GAA player drove away from the scene.

The case continues before a jury of seven men and five women tomorrow.