Up to 200 witnesses could give evidence at Kerry funeral murder trial

Trial of five men and a teenager accused of murder of a father of seven at a funeral could take up to eight weeks, potential jurors hear

The trial of five men and a teenager accused of the murder of a father of seven at a funeral in Co Kerry could take up to eight weeks and could hear evidence from up to 200 witnesses, potential jurors were told on Wednesday.

Ms Justice Mary Ellen Ring told the jury panel that the trial of the six accused charged with the murder of Tom Dooley (43) from Hazelwood Drive, Killarney, Co Kerry, would take several weeks but would be concluded by July 31st.

The five men and the teenager all denied the murder of Tom Dooley when they were arraigned before Ms Justice Ring and the jury panel at the Central Criminal Court sitting at the Criminal Courts of Justice on Anglesea Street in Cork.

The accused are Patrick Dooley (39) of Arbutus Grove, Killarney; Daniel Dooley (42) of An Carraigin, Connolly Park, Tralee; Thomas Dooley snr (43); Thomas Dooley jnr (21); and Michael Dooley (29), all of the halting site, Carrigrohane Road, Cork; and a teenager who can’t be named for legal reasons.


Ms Justice Ring explained to the jury panel at the outset that each of the six accused faces the same charge – “one of murder on October 5th, 2022, at Rath cemetery in Tralee” and one of the first witnesses they would hear from was Bernadette Siobhán Dooley, wife of the deceased.

Some seven jurors were sworn in during the morning sitting of the court but when these seven jurors returned in the afternoon, Ms Justice Ring explained that the court had not been able to any more progress in swearing in the remaining jurors.

“We are not able to make any more progress today. There will not be a new jury panel until Tuesday morning,” said Ms Justice Ring as she asked the seven people already sworn in to serve on the jury to return on Tuesday at 10.30am when the remaining jurors will be sworn in.

Prosecuting the case is Dean Kelly SC, while Patrick Dooley is represented by Brendan Grehan SC, Daniel Dooley by Brian McInerney SC, Thomas Dooley snr by Tom Creed SC, Thomas Dooley jnr by Vincent Heneghan SC, Michael Dooley by Ray Boland SC and the teenager is represented by Jane Hyland SC.

At his funeral Mass in Tullamore, Co Offaly, the late Mr Dooley was remembered by Mass celebrant Fr Joe Gallagher as a loving husband and father to his three sons and four daughters who at the time of his death ranged in age from 22 down to eight years.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times