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Jury to begin deliberations today in trial of man accused of murdering Kilkenny native Peter Donnelly

Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy will give her charge to the jury of six men and six women

The jury in the case of a 30-year-old accused of murdering Kilkenny man Peter Donnelly in Dublin in 2019 is expected to begin their deliberations later today.

Damien Singleton of no fixed abode, has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of his 39-year-old friend on O’Connell Street on June 11, 2019.

Yesterday in his closing speech to the jury, Lorcan Staines, Senior Counsel for the State, said that there was no issue that Mr Singleton killed Mr Donnelly because a guilty plea had been entered.

He said the issue for the jury to consider was that Mr Donnelly was stabbed twice with a knife that Mr Singleton carried in his tracksuit.

Mr Staines said that an audio message found on Peter Donnelly’s phone, together with how Mr Singleton interacted on the night with the deceased, should be taken into account by the jury.

Defending barrister Michael Bowman described the men as “bosom buddies, soldiering through addiction”, adding that there was no “murderous intent” in Mr Singleton towards his “friend”.

He said his client’s mind was “polluted, contaminated by a cocktail of alcohol and drugs” and that he was “barely coherent” when arrested on the night.

Mr Bowman said that while the case was a “distressing and tragic” one, the state of his client’s mind meant that Mr Singleton could not have formed the intent to murder Mr Donnelly.

Ms Justice Deirdre Murphy adjourned the case until today when she will give her charge to the jury of six men and six women, who will then begin their deliberations.