Monday 23 January 2017

Face of the Dublin woman in 'relationship' with serial killer Mark Nash

Published 26/04/2015 | 12:43

Accused: Mark Nash
Accused: Mark Nash

Violent murderer Mark Nash has found love behind bars with the sister of another convicted killer, according to reports.

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Lollipop lady Martina Courtney is said to have fallen for the high-profile killer in Dublin’s Arbour Hill.

It is believed she regularly visits the callous killer – convicted this week of the double murder of Sylvia Sheils (59) and Mary Callanan (61) in Grangegorman in Dublin nearly twenty years ago - in the jail.

Read more: Revealed: Details of serial killer Mark Nash's gruesome 1997 double murder

Martina Courteney
Pic: Courtesy Sunday World
Martina Courteney Pic: Courtesy Sunday World

Nash, 42, was already serving a double life sentence for murdering two people in Ballintober, Castlerea in Roscommon and leaving Sarah Jane Doyle seriously injured in mid-August in 1997.

It is now feared the killer may have murdered other women before moving to Ireland from the UK.

British authorities are said to be trawling through cold case murders in areas where Nash lived, including Bradley and Huddersfield, before moving to Dublin in the mid 1990s.

Read more: Nash's crime scenes were two of most horrific encountered by gardai

A photo of Mark Nash taken at a table quiz in Dublin's GPO hours before he murdered Sylvia Sheils and Mary Callinan
A photo of Mark Nash taken at a table quiz in Dublin's GPO hours before he murdered Sylvia Sheils and Mary Callinan
Mark Nash
Stella Nolan holds pictures of her sister outside court yesterday after Mark Nash was found guilty of the murders of her and Sylvia Shiels in March 1997
Sarah Jane Doyle who was left for dead by Nash and had to face him in court.
Mark Nash

However he and Ms Courtney struck up a relationship behind bars through a prison workshop which urges outsiders to see “the person behind the crime”, according to the Sunday World.

Her brother, former soldier Sean Courtney, was also an inmate in the prison. He battered Patricia O'Toole to death in the Dublin Mountains in September 1991 and served 15 years' imprisonment of a life sentence.

It is understood Ms Courtney, who lives in Terenure, south Dublin, with her family has been listed as his ‘next of kin’ in prison documents.

She has also brought her son in to prison to Nash, one of her sons told the paper.

“I’ve been in and out to see him since i was nine,” her son Darragh ‘Escobar’ Dodrill (19) told the paper.

“He’s a great guy.”

Read more: Portrait of a serial killer: Nash showed no emotion

Nash is said to have been convinced he would be acquitted and planned to start a life with Ms Courtney on the outside once granted parole.

However, he could now be moved to the high-security Midlands Prison, along with other high-profile killer Graham Dwyer.

The bodies of Mary Callanan and Sylvia Shiels were discovered at 6am on March 7, 1997.

Ms Callanan was a grey-haired lady from Cabra in Dublin who had been an inpatient at St Brendan's Hospital from 1966 and had lived in the house in Grangegorman since 1988.

Former civil servant Ms Sheils was first admitted to St Brendan's Hospital in 1980 suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

She had been living in the house since 1994.

Read more: Family tells of 18-year wait for justice

Both women had been brutally slain in a manner that defied description, the horrifying details of which were not revealed to the public at the time.

Both their throats had been cut and both had suffered numerous horrific genital and facial injuries. Two electric carving knife blades were recovered from Mary Callinan's room and two knives from Sylvia's.

A Dublin heroin user with learning disabilities named Dean Lyons (23) was implicated by two burglars. After making false confessions to those murders, he was wrongly imprisoned for nine months.

Charges against him were dropped, but legal challenges to Nash's trial going ahead continued for years before his guilty verdict on Monday.

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