A FORMER British Army soldier who is accused of murdering a father-of-two in Ireland has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
Donal Colgan, 66, also pleaded not guilty to the murder of 44-year-old David ‘Gummy’ Sheridan outside a shop in Dublin three years ago.
Mr Sheridan died after being stabbed outside Luigi’s chip shop on the North Strand Road, Dublin 1 on August 17, 2014.
Colgan, who is alleged to have knifed Mr Sheridan to death, had his plea rejected by the Central Criminal Court.
Teresa Marcela, who was working at Luigi’s that night, said that she had never seen the victim Mr Sheridan before but that he seemed like a “nice man”.
She said that Mr Colgan began punching him outside the shop after he got involved in an argument between Colgan and a group of young boys.
She explained that the accused then left the scene before returning with a knife.
“It wasn’t a small knife,” she said.
Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis told the court that the victim had died from “multiple stab wounds” to his abdomen, left arm, hand and scalp.
A vegetable knife consistent with Mr Sheridan’s wounds was later recovered from the home of Mr Colgan at Killarney St, Dublin 1.
Taking the stand on Friday, Colgan said that he was raised in the North Strand area of Dublin and was “okay” until the “evil” Christian Brothers got involved in his life.
He said that he joined the British Army as a 16-year-old to fight in Northern Ireland with the Ulster Rifles, before being sent to Gibraltar and then Libya.
In Libya, he said he was “blown away” by an explosion that left blood “pumping” out of him.
The grandfather said he returned to Ireland as an 18-year-old in 1969 and moved to Clontarf in 1997 after divorcing his wife of 25 years.
He was a regular at Luigi’s chip shop and was immediately recognised by staff on the night of August 17, 2014.
He said he acted in defence when he stabbed Mr Sheridan to death.
Mr Colgan’s trial will continue in front of Justice Tony Hunt and a jury of eight women and three men this week.