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Sailor 'was beaten up before he drowned'

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  • Sailor 'was beaten up before he drowned'

    Sailor 'was beaten up before he drowned'

    The Irish Independent
    Liz Walsh


    A SAILOR on the Irish Navy flagship, the LE Eithne, was assaulted and caused to fall from the side of the ship into the River Liffey where he drowned, a murder trial jury heard yesterday.

    The ship's mechanic, Sean Lundon (21) of James Connolly Park, Tipperary town, pleaded not guilty to the murder of fellow crewman, Brian Gorey (21), of Devon Close, Castletroy View, Limerick, at Sir John Rogerson's Quay, Dublin on April 22, 2001.

    On the opening day of the trial at the Central Criminal Court, Tom O'Connell SC, prosecuting, told the jury that Lundon assaulted Able Seaman Brian Gorey in the ship's recreation room in the early hours of the morning. He then took or carried him down a corridor to the ship's starboard side where he allegedly "precipitated him" over the side of the ship.

    He told jurors they would heard witness evidence that the deceased man was alive when he went overboard as he was seen struggling in the water.

    The court heard that the LE Eithne was docked at Sir John Rogerson's Quay from the Friday before the incident. The following night, April 21, the accused and the deceased left the ship and went drinking. Sean Lundon went to Busker's nightclub where he drank eight to 10 pints before returning to the ship around 3.30am.

    The court heard that Brian Gorey went to a pub, returning to the LE Eithne at around midnight. Mr O'Connell told the jury that several witnesses saw Mr Gorey asleep on a couch in the recreation room. There was "a bit of a party going on".

    They would hear evidence from the last person to leave the room, at around 5am, that the only two people left there were the accused man and Brian Gorey, who was still lying on the couch.

    Some 20 minutes later, another crewman heard a shout - "man overboard". He went to the side of the ship and saw Brian Gorey in the water about 20 feet off the side of the ship. The evidence would suggest that he was still alive as he was struggling, counsel said. The crewmen threw a buoy into the water but he was carried out to sea by the tide.

    The jury would hear forensic evidence that the accused suffered injuries to his face, head and trunk. Mr O'Connell added that a broken ashtray and the broken shaft of a broom recovered from the ship were items "of some significance".

    Gardai also found a trail of bloodstains from the recreation room through the ship's corridor "leading to the side of the ship where one can infer Mr Gorey was caused to fall into the sea", counsel told the court.

    The jury also heard that blood stains - later found to belong to the deceased - were discovered on items of clothing worn by the accused that night. The court heard the clothing, beige trousers and a navy jacket, were recovered from the accused's locker on board the LE Eithne.

    The trial before Mr Justice Paul Carney continues today.

  • #2
    Officer didn't see Navy officer fall into water, trial hears
    30/04/2003 - 1:38:41 pm

    An officer on nightwatch aboard the navy flagship the L.E. Eithne has told a murder trial how he was alarmed to see a young sailor being washed away in the River Liffey a short time after he’d checked on him.

    Duty Petty Officer Daniel O’Flynn told how Brian Gorey was helped up the ship’s gangway when he returned from the pub only hours before he was seen overboard struggling to save himself.

    He was giving evidence at the Central Criminal Court on the third day of the trial of trial of Mr Sean Lundon (aged 21) of James Connolly Park, Tipperary town. Mr Lundon, the ship’s apprentice mechanic has denied the murder of fellow crewman, Mr Brian Gorey (aged 21) of Devon Close, Castletroy View, Limerick, at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, Dublin on 22 April 2001.

    "I was told he was on his way back, someone said he was drunk so I asked a cadet to escort him to make sure he wouldn’t fall," he said.

    The witness said that after Brian Gorey was safely aboard the ship he closed the bar in the recreational room, where Mr Gorey and a few others were continuing to drink. He gave Mr Gorey a final pint before finishing the bar for the night at midnight, he said.

    Some time after 5am another crewman alerted Officer O’Flynn to the deck and told him there was somebody in the water. "He said, ‘I think it’s Gorey’," the witness told the court

    "I saw a head in the water and knowing his hairstyle, I knew it was Gores," he said, referring to the deceased. He said he moved quickly to raise the alarm and throw a lifebuoy into the water.

    "There was a comrade we’d been keeping an eye on all night in the river," he said. Prior to this, Officer O’Flynn recalled hearing no splash and said he had seen nothing unusual when he carried out his patrol around the ship.

    The trial continues before Mr Justice Carney and a jury of seven men and five women.

    Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.


    • #3
      Navy man convicted of manslaughter RTE NEWS

      May 13, 2003

      (19:46) A 21-year-old navy apprentice mechanic has been convicted by a jury in the Central Criminal Court of the killing a fellow crew man in April, 2001.

      Sean Lundon of James Connolly Park, Tipperary Town, denied murdering Brian Gorey, an Able Seaman from Devon Close in Limerick City.

      The accused was found guilty of manslaughter.

      Mr Gorey, who had spent four years in the navy, drowned in the River Liffey after being pushed or thrown overboard by Sean Lundon.

      The dead man had been assaulted by Lundon earlier in the recreation room of their naval vessel, the LE Eithne.

      Lundon will be sentenced on 27 June.


      • #4
        As this matter is no longer sub judice,I am re opening the topic.

        Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.


        • #5
          Goldie, a quick legal question.
          Shouldn't the NS and PA's have jurisdiction over this case as it occured on a NS vessel. Or is it policy to pass on any serious case like this to the Garda and let them prosecute under civilian law?
          No-one, I think, is in my tree...


          • #6
            Civil law superseeds military law. Where an incident is a crime under both laws then the civil law comes into play. The NS and PAs probably did an investigation to see if there were any specific military laws broken. I think that the defence forces are a lot more comfortable with cases being tried by the Court Service rather than have to set up their own Court Martial.


            • #7
              Yeah..what he said...

              Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.


              • #8
                had to be thrown overboard given the height of the guard role on the after deck of the Eithne....bring back yardarms!
                Covid 19 is not over's still very real..Hand Hygiene, Social Distancing and Masks.. keep safe


                • #9
                  And Keelhauling...interesting on a ship with a prop..or 2..

                  Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Goldie fish
                    And Keelhauling...interesting on a ship with a prop..or 2..
                    Have 'em dance the hempen jig and that'll eb the end of that...


                    • #11
                      Family angry at sailor's jail sentence
                      27/06/2003 - 4:20:39 pm

                      The family of a 21-year-old sailor who drowned after he was thrown overboard the navy flagship, the L.E. Eithne reacted with disbelief today when his killer was jailed for five years.

                      Sean Lundon (21) of James Connolly Park, Tipperary was jailed for five years at the Central Criminal Court for the manslaughter of fellow crewman Able Seaman Brian Gorey (21) of Devon Close, Castletroy View, Limerick, at Sir John Rogerson's Quay, Dublin on 22 April 2001.

                      The court also heard that two months after Mr Gorey’s death, while out on bail Lundon assaulted a man in Tipperary town, causing him serious harm. He pleaded guilty to charges of assault and assault causing harm and awaits sentencing in Clonmel Circuit Court.

                      Passing sentence, Mr Justice Carney said the killing of Brian Gorey was “one of the most difficult cases” he has ever dealt with and said it was “frightening” that such gratuitous violence was now set off by drink alone.

                      “It is frightening that it [drinking alcohol] is going to lead to this without the involvement of cannabis,” he said.

                      He said that Brian Gorey posed no threat to anyone on the night he was savagely beaten and propelled overboard for “a reason that is not clear and probably never will be”.

                      Speaking outside the courthouse following the sentencing, Brian Gorey’s father Michael said, “at the end of the day if taking a life is only worth five years, there’s going to be a lot more killings in the country”.

                      He said he did not accept any apology from Lundon and said “it meant nothing to him”.

                      He also called on the Minister for Defence to explain and investigate why Lundon had not been discharged from the Defence Forces after he was convicted of manslaughter. “He should have been thrown out of the Defence Forces, he has been paid more than 40,000 euros of taxpayers money.”

                      During the trial last month Lundon denied murdering his crewmate Brian Gorey, who could not swim. He admitted to gardai that he hit him with a ceramic ashtray and broke a brush handle on his head during a row, but claimed he took the deceased up on deck for air and that he "slipped away" into the water and drowned.

                      Evidence was heard that both men had drunk a lot of the night in question in a number of pubs in the city on the night in question. They continued drinking onboard with a group of crew members until close to 5am when Mr Lundon was the last person in the recreational room with Mr Gorey, who was
                      sleeping on the couch.

                      Mr Lundon, who did not give direct evidence in the case, first told gardai that Mr Gorey woke up and threw an ashtray at him. But in a later statement he said he “lost the head” because Mr Gorey annoyed him when he tried to wake him up. After Lundon punched him and hit him with the ashtray and broom handle he picked Mr Gorey up and carried him to the deck.

                      “He was struggling, slapping out at me, I pushed him back hard into the chest and he went over the rail”.

                      He said he called out for help before panicking away to his cabin. His defence, led by Mr Brendan Grehan SC said Mr Lundon never intended for his crewmate to go overboard.

                      When Mr Gorey was spotted struggling in the water by one member of the crew a 'man overboard' alarm was raised. A lifeboat reached him within minutes, but he was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

                      A number of young sailors who were drinking in the room with Lundon and Mr Gorey in the hours before the incident gave evidence that there was no hostility between the two men and said Mr Gorey was in "great form".

                      The Deputy State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy told the trial that a postmortem examination established that Mr Gorey was assaulted before he went overboard, but that he died from drowning.

                      She told the court that the deceased man had a blood alcohol level of 226 milligrammes and was "moderately intoxicated" at the time of death.

                      Michael Gorey told the court his family had been destroyed by the loss of their son who he described as “a perfect gentleman” who loved the navy.

                      Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.


                      • #12

                        rest in peace, brian
                        go mbeidh deis de ar a anam.

                        i think it would be a good idea to close this topic as a mark of respect and let Brian's family and friends greave in peace.

                        Just a suggestion, thanks.


                        • #13
                          With respect to your sentiments A/Tel,which I know are honourable. From reading above I doubt the family will ever grieve in peace knowing that the man who was considered by the court to be responsible for the death of their son,got off so lightly.
                          We cannot stop discussing this travesty out of sympathy for the family. Brian is dead,R/I.P,and no amount of kind words can bring him back or change that. However questions must be asked as to why it was allowed happen in the first place,and why the man responsible was involved in another violent assault while on bail,all the time Being paid by the state.
                          Brushng these problems under the carpet and hoping they go away,and people forget helps nobody.
                          I have taken on board your suggestion and declined at this time. If people wish to comment they may,if not this thread will remain,and fall to th ebottom of the board.

                          Thank you for your input however. As the only Current NS member who uses the board,your posts are always informative and interesting. Please keep us up to date.


                          Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.


                          • #14
                            Hard to believe its been 6 years
                            "Let no mans ghost come back to say my training let him down"