Sunday 22 October 2017

Mairead murder accused to face psychiatric tests

Flowers and tributes to Mairead Moran (inset) at Holland & Barrett at Market Cross Kilkenny yesterday. Picture Dylan Vaughan.
Flowers and tributes to Mairead Moran (inset) at Holland & Barrett at Market Cross Kilkenny yesterday. Picture Dylan Vaughan.
Murder victim Mairead Moran

Conor Kane

A psychiatric assessment has been ordered on a 27-year-old man accused of murdering a popular shop manager last Thursday night.

Shane Smyth, of Flat Three, McGuinness House, Evans Lane, Kilkenny city, was charged early yesterday morning with the murder of Mairead Moran, 26.

She was stabbed while at work in the Holland and Barrett health shop in Kilkenny city's Market Cross shopping centre.

He was brought before a special sitting of Kilkenny District Court in the afternoon and remanded in custody to Cloverhill Prison, to appear at Cloverhill District Court on Friday, May 16.

The accused was not called upon to speak during the brief court hearing.

A small crowd of about 20 people gathered outside the courthouse as the accused was driven away in an unmarked garda car, minutes after the end of his court appearance.

Detective Sergeant Colin Furlong gave evidence during the hearing of charging Mr Smyth at 1.37am on Saturday morning.

He told the court that he asked the accused if he had any reply to the charge and the accused said: "Not at this moment."

Inspector Joe Carton applied for a remand in custody until next Friday and this was granted.

The accused's solicitor, Chris Hogan, asked for legal aid and said his client was not working and on disability allowance. He also asked for a psychiatric assessment.

Judge Eamon O'Brien acceded to both requests.

Shane Smyth arrived in an unmarked garda car at the courthouse in Kilkenny at 12.50pm yesterday and consulted with his solicitor for some time in the building.

He was escorted into the courtroom at 1.20pm and was flanked by two gardai as he sat waiting for the proceedings to start.

Members of his family sat in the body of the court, some of them in tears, while friends of the murder victim were in another part of the courtroom and were also visibly distressed during the hearing.

Ms Moran, a single woman originally from Kilmaganny in Co Kilkenny but living in the city for the last number of years, was attacked at about 8.30pm on Thursday night and stabbed a number of times.

After her assailant fled the the shopping centre, she was helped by passers-by and staff from a nearby SuperValu store.

But despite the efforts of paramedics who arrived at the scene and doctors at St Luke's Hospital, she was later pronounced dead.

Ms Moran was the daughter of Margo and Peter Moran who run a grocery shop in Kilmaganny, and the younger sister of Colette and Michelle.

Shane Smyth, originally from Knocktopher but living in Kilkenny city, was arrested in the Loughboy area on Thursday night and detained since then for questioning under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

Dozens of bouquets of flowers were left outside the Holland and Barrett shop in Market Cross throughout yesterday, close to the spot where the assistant manager was attacked.

The outlet remained closed following the re-opening of the shopping centre, which was closed throughout Friday to allow garda to carry out a forensic examination.

However, friends of the 26-year-old paid tribute to her memory.

One of the messages left with a bouquet of flowers read: "Mairead you were taken away from us so soon, we never got to say goodbye, but although you're not here in body, you'll always be on our minds."

Another message expressed deepest sympathy to Mairead and her family from the girls at the nearby Peter Mark outlet.

Sunday Independent

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