Shooting victim would probably have died at scene if not for paramedics, murder trial told

Shooting Victim Would Probably Have Died At Scene If Not For Paramedics, Murder Trial Told Shooting Victim Would Probably Have Died At Scene If Not For Paramedics, Murder Trial Told
The court heard the victim, Barry Wolverson, was left in a 'vegetative state' after he was shot several times in the chest and head in January 2020. Photo: PA Images
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Peter Doyle

A man left in a "vegetative state" after he was shot several times in the chest and head – and who died a year later after never recovering consciousness – would have probably died at the scene if it was not for the assistance of paramedics, a murder trial was told on Tuesday.

A 33-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons but is referred to as 'AB' by lawyers, and Bernard Fogarty (34), with an address at Cromcastle Court, Kilmore, Coolock, Dublin 5, both deny the murder of Barry Wolverson at Madigan's Yard, Kileek Lane, Swords, Co Dublin, on January 17th, 2020.

The two men were charged before the Special Criminal Court in April 2021 with the attempted murder of Mr Wolverson, who died on February 21st, 2021 after a lengthy spell in hospital. The attempted murder charges were upgraded to murder charges after Mr Wolverson died.


At the Special Criminal Court on Tuesday, Michelle O’Toole, a former advanced paramedic with Dublin Fire Brigade, told Paul Greene SC, for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), that she attended the scene of the shooting in a "rapid response vehicle".

When she arrived, she said she observed two injured men. One man was standing next to a truck, while the second was lying on the ground and was receiving CPR from a member of the gardaí.

Ms O’Toole said she began treating the second man, whom she now knows was Mr Wolverson, and discovered he was not breathing and his heartbeat was irregular.


When Mr Wolverson failed to respond to attempts to revive him by intubation – the placing of a tube in the airways to help him breathe – Ms O’Toole administered an adrenaline injection via the injured man’s lower leg.

Mr Wolverson’s heart rhythm "changed to a normal rhythm" after the injection, Ms O’Toole said.

Mr Wolverson was then taken to Beaumont Hospital, where he "survived for many months thereafter in a vegetative state", Mr Greene said.

When asked by Mr Greene whether there was "a very strong likelihood he [Mr Wolverson] would have died there and then" if it weren’t for the intervention of paramedics at the scene, Ms O’Toole responded: "It is hard for me to say, but it would appear so."

She also told Mr Greene that when she examined Mr Wolverson, she found "eight gunshot wounds to the chest and shoulder area and one to his head, his temple".

Paul Hand, also a paramedic with Dublin Fire Brigade, told Mr Greene that he treated the man who was standing when he arrived at the scene.

Mr Hand, who is based at the North Strand Station, said the man was bleeding and it appeared to him that he had been shot in the lower back.

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"I couldn’t see any exit wounds," Mr Hand told the court.

When asked under cross-examination by Dean Kelly SC, for AB, whether the wounds could have been grazes, he replied: "They were puncture holes."

Both men have pleaded not guilty to murder, possession of a firearm, possession of .38/.357 calibre ammunition and of assault causing harm to another male, Gerard Wildman, on January 17th, 2020 at the yard in north Dublin.

The trial before Mr Justice Michael MacGrath, Judge Cormac Dunne and Judge Gerard Griffin continues and is expected to last six weeks.

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