A man accused of murdering a 90-year-old pensioner has claimed he struck him repeatedly in self-defence.

Ross Outram, 28, of Ferryland, Waterford Road, Clonmel in Co Tipperary has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Paddy Lyons at Loughleagh, Ballysaggart, Lismore, Co Waterford at a time unknown between 23-26 February 2017.

The trial before a jury of eight men and four women and Mr Justice Paul Coffey got under way this afternoon.

Prosecuting counsel John O'Kelly told the jury that a couple selling second-hand clothes, of whom Mr Lyons was a customer, went to Mr Lyons's home on the afternoon of 25 February 2017 and the house was not locked.

He said they found Mr Lyons’ body at around 4pm that day.

"It was immediately obvious that this man was either dead or in a bad way," Mr O’Kelly said.

The jury heard that Mr Lyons, who lived alone, had retired from farming but still lived on his land. 

His farm had been let out for some years. He was healthy and fairly active for a man of his age.

However, the jury heard Mr Lyons had a frozen right arm, which he could not really use anymore.

Mr O'Kelly said the accused initially told investigating gardaí that he knew nothing about Mr Lyons.

However, he subsequently admitted that he had been in his house in Ballysaggart on either 24 or 25 February.

The jury was told that Mr Outram claimed he had asked the pensioner for money, but that Mr Lyons refused and then started attacking him with a stick.

Mr Outram said he then struck Mr Lyons repeatedly in self-defence and that the pensioner was alive when he left the house.

Mr O'Kelly said the jury would hear evidence that one of Mr Lyons’ hip joints and ribs were fractured and that these injuries were the result of blunt force.

The jury was told it will hear that a blood stained hoodie found in the accused’s bedroom contained the DNA of Mr Lyons.

The trial is expected to last two weeks.