Eccentric loner who lived in squalor
Published 05/03/2010 | 05:00
CONVICTED killer Oliver Hayes was an eccentric loner whose bizarre behaviour deeply unsettled many of his neighbours.
Hayes -- a painter, decorator as well as an odd jobs man -- lived in near-squalor at Clancool Terrace in Bandon, Co Cork and was regularly broke, often borrowing money from friends and clients.
The 50-year-old owed €10,000 to a West Cork credit union -- and had not paid anything off his mortgage for almost two years.
His killing of frail widow Anne Corcoran (60) was triggered by his determination to accompany his long-term girlfriend on a skiing holiday to Austria that he had no cash to pay for. That relationship has since ended.
Hayes targeted the widow for cash because he knew she lived alone. He admitted to detectives that he had been having "a lot of sleepless nights" over his debts and lack of cash.
Poignantly, house-proud Anne Corcoran died in horrific circumstances in January 2009 in Hayes' home.
She was brutally bludgeoned with a stick and then beaten with a heavy lump of kitchen counter top after she revealed the PIN for her bank ATM card.
It took Gardai 24 hours just to empty Hayes' home of rubbish before they could begin their forensic examination of the scene where the widow died.
At one point, the body of a dead animal was discovered.
In contrast, Mrs Corcoran's house was described by one neighbour as perennially "like a new pin".
Tragically, Anne Corcoran had been kind to Hayes who had been known to her late husband, Jerry.
Hayes knew Mrs Corcoran now lived alone and decided to target her as he grew increasingly desperate for cash.
Hayes had been seeing a Kinsale woman for almost 10 years and was determined to accompany her on a skiing holiday she had planned for Austria.
But Hayes was broke and work was slowly drying up for him as construction collapsed.
Anne's husband, Jerry, died in 2007 but she continuing to live in their isolated farmhouse. She loved the area, having grown up there as a child.
Despite working in London for years, Anne was thrilled to return to the quiet area, where she married her husband, a respected local farmer.
Her primary companions in her latter years were her beloved dogs.
In one of the most disturbing elements of the case, it emerged that Hayes -- after bludgeoning the frail widow to death -- had travelled back to her house to ensure they were fed.
Then Hayes took the widow's body to an isolated woodland where, after digging a shallow grave, he burned it.