7 February 2014 No Comments by The Northern Standard

THE TRIAL began at a special sitting of the Central Criminal Court in Monaghan town this week of a 22-year-old Castleblayney man accused of murdering a young musician from the Kingscourt area in the summer of 2011.

In what is believed to be the first murder trial in Monaghan in the modern era, Conor McClelland, of Cullentrabane, Laragh, Castleblayney is pleading not guilty to a charge of killing Gavin O’Connor, who was aged 22, at Lisdoonan, Monaghan on 4th June 2011.

Mr McClelland has entered a guilty plea, however, to a separate charge of assault causing harm to Mr O’Connor on the same occasion.
Mr O’Connor, of Ballynaclose, Kilmainhamwood, Co Meath, about a mile to the south of Kingscourt, was found seriously injured on a minor roadway close to Lisdoonan village in the early hours of the morning.

He was pronounced dead later that Saturday evening at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.

The hearing before Mr Justice Patrick McCarty was yesterday told by a number of witnesses that both Mr O’Connor and the accused had been in Carrickmacross on the previous night, where an annual June Bank Holiday music festival was taking place.

Senior counsel Mr Anthony Sammon, opening for the prosecution, told the jury that it would be alleged that Mr McClelland struck Mr O’Connor on the head with a rock. It would …

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