Martin Keenan had maintained he acted in self-defence

A young traveller has been found not guilty of murdering a man who was trespassing in his mobile home at a halting site in Dublin.

20-year-old Martin Keenan of Cardiffsbridge Avenue in Finglas had maintained he acted in self-defence.

It’s the first murder case to be defended under new homeowner laws which were introduced in 2011.

On the night of the 5th of June 2016, Martin Keenan and his wife arrived back to their mobile home at St Joseph’s Park halting site in Dunsink Lane in Finglas.

Two strangers - the deceased Wesley Mooney and his girlfriend - were inside it.

Mr Keenan told gardaí he got a fright, and described Mr Mooney as a junkie.

He said Mr Mooney ran at him, so he picked up something and hit him with it.

But the deceased’s girlfriend had a different version of events, and said the couple were leaving after being told to get the ‘f** out’ when the accused stuck something into Mr Mooney.

Mr Mooney was stabbed twice with half a garden shears and died at the scene.

After over four hours of deliberations, the jury decided Martin Keenan was not guilty and he started crying on hearing the verdict.

The decision was delivered to a semi-empty courtroom after it was cleared when two jurors said a member of the public had approached them during their deliberations – although not in a threatening way.