The jury in the trial of a 25-year-old man accused of murdering Shane Geoghegan in Limerick in 2008 has failed to reach a verdict.

Barry Doyle with addresses at Portland Row in Dublin and Hyde Road in Limerick, had denied murdering the 28-year-old man in what was a suspected case of mistaken identity.

After deliberating for over 15 and a half hours since last Friday, the jury said they were unable to reach a unanimous verdict.

The jury had been reduced from 12 to ten members after one juror's father became ill and another had a planned trip abroad.

Mr Geoghegan, a Garryowen rugby player, was shot on 8 November 2008 at Kilteragh, Dooradoyle while walking home alone.

He had run for cover to the back of a house near his home but was pursued by a gunman who shot him five times.

The prosecution claimed Barry Doyle had admitted shooting Mr Geoghegan during garda interviews but refused to explain why he had shot him.

He had also given gardaí his rosary beads and told them to give them to Mr Geoghegan's mother.

During the 20-day trial the prosecution described the murder was an ambush.

Prosecuting Counsel Sean Guerin told the jury that Barry Doyle had lain in wait with a gun in his hand and murder on his mind.

He said when Shane Geoghegan pleaded for his life, Barry Doyle showed no mercy and shot him from behind in what they said was a cowardly, ruthless and cold blooded killing.

His admissions while in Garda custody could only have been given by the person guilty of the murder because of the accuracy of the account given, according the prosecution.

But the defence had argued that the case rested solely on the statements made by Mr Doyle.

These statements had been extracted under unremitting psychological pressure, threats and promises, defence barrister Martin O'Rourke said.

He said after two days of interviewing Mr Doyle and not getting the answers they wanted, the gardai decided to use his girlfriend and sick baby as bait to get him to admit his involvement.

His girlfriend was being held by gardaí on suspicion of withholding information.

Their child, who had a heart condition, had been due to go into hospital for a scan.

Mr O’Rourke said while Mr Geoghegan was an innocent man and not the intended target, there was no evidence about who the intended target was and why Mr Doyle would have wanted to kill him.

He said there was no forensic evidence, no DNA, no CCTV footage.

The gun was never recovered.