Woman had ‘black eye’ week before she died from stab wounds, murder trial told

Make-up artist says Amadea McDermott (27) told her she was in ‘toxic relationship’ with accused man Martin Hayes (34)

A mother of two had a black eye a week before she died from a stab wound and had described her relationship with the man accused of her murder as “toxic”, a murder trial has heard.

Martin Hayes (34), with an address at Poddle Close, Crumlin, Dublin 12, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Amadea McDermott (27) at her home in Rathvale Drive, Ayrfield, Coolock on or about July 20th, 2017.

The Central Criminal Court trial has heard that the accused told emergency services who arrived at Ms McDermott’s home that she had self-harmed by stabbing herself. However, a woman who later went out with the accused has given evidence that Mr Hayes told her he had “helped” Ms McDermott put a knife she was holding through her stomach.

A garda witness has told the jury that the deceased’s sister, Eucharia McDermott, alleged that Mr Hayes was physically abusive to Amadea in the past.


Jade Deacon on Tuesday told Sean Gillane SC, prosecuting, that she had worked in the hairdressing and make-up business since 2017 and was a childhood friend of Ms McDermott.

The witness said she did Ms McDermott’s make-up for her niece’s christening on July 14th, 2017, a week before she died. Asked by Mr Gillane how Ms McDermott looked, Ms Deacon said she was a bit quiet at first and she noticed that Amadea had a black eye when she went to do her make-up.

Under cross-examination by defence counsel Marc Thompson Grolimund BL, Ms Deacon agreed that Ms McDermott was not quite herself that morning and had a little cut under her left eye. She also agreed that the deceased had become emotional at one point and ran into the toilet.

The witness further agreed that Ms McDermott had revealed to her that she was in “a toxic relationship” with Mr Hayes.

“She was telling me about her boyfriend,” she said, adding that her friend was upset and crying at the time.

Ms Deacon also agreed that Ms McDermot had said that day she wished Mr Hayes would leave her but would then say she loved him.

“I was shocked, I didn’t think she was going through all that,” said the witness.

Earlier, Dr Ciara Kelly, from Forensic Science Ireland, told Mr Gillane she examined a swab taken from a knife to identify a possible DNA source, which matched Ms McDermott’s DNA profile.

Under cross-examination, Dr Kelly told Ronan Munro SC, defending, there was no evidence of Mr Hayes’s profile found on the knife.

Det Sgt Anthony Maloney told Mr Gillane that the accused was arrested on suspicion of murder on October 8th, 2020 and released the next day. He said the accused was arrested for the murder of Ms McDermott on April 4th, 2022 for the purpose of charge.

Under cross-examination, Det Sgt Maloney told Mr Munro that the jury had heard from retired State pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy, who said the injury to Ms McDermott was consistent with a self-inflicted injury.

Mr Munro said the investigation began as a sudden death, which is referred to colloquially as a suspicious death, and it remained categorised as such until the end of 2018.

He said the McDermott family brought to the attention of gardaí that a relative was “saying things about the night” and it was arranged for that person to be interviewed.

Det Sgt Maloney said the case was upgraded to a homicide investigation after the specialist interviews concluded and matters accelerated.

Mr Munro said his client has been in custody since April 4th, 2022 and that his previous convictions are mostly for road traffic offences dating from 2008, where fines were imposed.

The accused has a previous conviction for damaging property belonging to another, namely for crashing into another car in a road traffic context, for which he got a suspended sentence, said his barrister.

The detective agreed with counsel that Mr Hayes has no sentences of imprisonment for his previous convictions and no convictions for violence.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Paul McDermott and a jury of eight men and four women.