Man pleading self-defence for stabbing another in own Mayo house

Man pleading self-defence for stabbing another in own Mayo house

Michael McDonagh's attack on Matusz Batiuk in his own home provided him with the right to defend himself.

The Central Criminal Court has acquitted a 33-year-old man of murder charges after he had stabbed an intruder in his own home in self-defence, believing his life was at risk.

After careful deliberation, a jury of twelve (3 women and 9 men) unanimously confirmed that Matusz Batiuk was in the right when he defended himself from an attack in his own home. The verdict was given to Ms Justice Mary Ellen Ring on Friday afternoon. They spent a total of 9 hours and 54 minutes discussing the matter for 3 days.

Mr Batiuk denied any responsibility in the killing of Michael McDonagh (24) at a housing estate in Swinford on November 16th, 2020.

Ms Ring rewarded the jury for their diligent service in the difficult trial and exempted them from jury duty for ten years. Mr McDonagh succumbed to his fatal injury from a stab wound to the stomach which resulted in the severance of his iliac artery, thus leading to speedy and lethal blood loss.

Throughout the trial, defence counsel Vincent Heneghen SC argued that the defendant's first words after he stabbed Mr McDonagh were “I did it in self-defence” and that this remained his position in all subsequent garda interviews.

The prosecution argued that Mr Batiuk deliberately stabbed Michael McDonagh intending to kill him. However, according to Mr Bautik's statements to the police, he claimed to have acted only in self-defence and had no intent to kill.

Mr McDonagh's family was overwhelmed with grief and shock after the verdict was announced, and some of them even shed tears.