By Stephen Bourke
A 19-year-old man has admitted stabbing two men in the space of three months in Dublin’s inner city while he was a minor, and threatening to kill a woman.
Jason Finnegan (19) of Mary Aikenhead House, James’s Street, Dublin 8, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to Eoin Duffy on Amiens Street on October 18, 2019, and to assault causing harm to Shane Carberry at the Basin Street flats in Dubin 8 on January 11, 2020.
He also pleaded guilty to threatening to kill Ms Shannon Kelly at the Basin Street flats in February 2020.
At the Circuit Criminal Court in Dublin today, Finnegan entered further guilty pleas to the remaining counts on the indictments, including a second count of assault on Mr Carberry after the stabbing, and the production of a knife and threatening to cause criminal damage when he threatened Ms Kelly.
Eoin Duffy told an investigating garda he was his way to Sheriff Street to buy tablets on October 18 when he saw a man running at him with a knife.
He ran towards Clery’s pub trying to escape, but said he “felt the knife going in”.
When gardaí went to interview him at the end of the month, he chose not to make a full statement — insisting he didn’t remember much, and didn’t know the attacker.
Garda Cinthia Zaura told the court witness descriptions of the man’s clothing were used to track the suspect on CCTV, and one of her colleagues recognised him as Finnegan.
The second stabbing happened after a late-night row between Shane Carbery and a woman after they and others went back to her flat in Basin Street to continue drinking after being at a pub.
He told gardaí the row had spilled over into the balcony, but had just been resolved when Jason Finnegan turned up, he said.
“We all went back into the flat and were apologising to each other. I remember seeing Jayo walking in with his hood up and said ‘What’s up Jayo?’”
Then Mr Carbery saw the knife.
“I automatically put my hands up. He came in. He got me first on my right arm, then I fell. I saw all the blood.”
He was wounded twice, with one of the cuts opening an artery.
“Please, I’m going to die, get me an ambulance,” he said.
His friends brought him outside again and laid him down.
“I seen Jayo coming at me again and he hit me on the head. I’m not sure if he used his hand or the handle of the knife,” he told gardaí.
“I thought he was going to kill me and on the balcony, I was dead.”
Finnegan was later seen on CCTV trying to dump a knife under the door of a sealed-up apartment, before throwing it into another flat, the court heard.
Finnegan was charged with the stabbing on February 21 last year after being arrested the month before.
He now admits he threatened Ms Shannon Kelly just three days after that.
The court heard she told gardaí of seeing Finnegan and another youth crossing the basketball court near her home last month, and telling him: “Don’t come near my home.”
“He told me he was going to cut my throat. He told me he’d butcher Kenneth, my boyfriend. He told me he’d burn my house out.”
“I told him ‘we’ll see’,” she said, but took the threats seriously.
Keith Spencer BL, defending, said his client accepts the incidents were “extremely serious matters.”
He said drugs were “the bane of his existence and the main reason for his offending”.
He asked that sentencing be adjourned so that Finnegan could complete a seven-week drugs treatment programme at a facility in Kilkenny so he would have a “coping mechanism” before serving a prison term.
“He didn’t just carry the knife – he used the knife, on more than one occasion,” said Judge Karen O’Connor.
“That’s something I have to take seriously,” adding that she could not guarantee Finnegan would avoid jail.
She remanded him on continuing bail until October 29, next.