Saturday 23 September 2017

Emotions running high as murder suspect faces judge

Barry Duggan

THE funeral Mass for a young mother and her two children who were killed inside their home will take place on Thursday.

The bodies of Sarah Hines (25), her son Reece (3) and her baby daughter Amy (five months) will be reposed at Roche's Funeral Home in Tournafulla, Co Limerick, on Wednesday from 3pm to 7.30pm, followed by removal to St Patrick's Church.

Hundreds of mourners -- many of whom are travelling from England -- will gather in the west Limerick village for the funeral Mass of the three victims.

Originally from Essex, the Hines family had initially lived in Tournafulla when they moved to Limerick 10 years ago, but had recently moved to Feohanagh.

Evidence

Meanwhile, the unemployed steel fabricator who has been charged with the murder of his baby daughter Amy, his ex-partner Sarah, Reece and Alicia Brough (20) will appear in court again later this week.

John Geary (31), with an address at Meadowcourt, Newcastle West, Co Limerick, remained silent at a special sitting of the town's district court on Saturday afternoon.

More than 300 people gathered outside the courthouse on Bishop Street, hoping to catch a glimpse of the alleged quadruple murderer.

With his right arm in a cast and sling, Mr Geary, who is originally from Milford in Co Cork, appeared in front of Judge Mary O'Halloran.

Four Newcastle West-based garda officers -- Sgt John Flanagan, Gda Dave Gee, Sgt Alberta McWalter and Gda Jeremiah O'Sullivan -- gave evidence of arresting, charging and cautioning Mr Geary last Friday night at Henry Street garda station in Limerick in relation to each of the four killings.

He made no reply when charged with the alleged murders at 18 Hazelgrove, Gortboy, Newcastle West, last Monday.

Up to 50 gardai, including members of the Regional Response Unit, were on patrol around the perimeter of the building throughout the sitting.

Wearing a black hoodie and tracksuit bottoms, Mr Geary sat between two gardai with his head bowed throughout the hearing. Another four officers were positioned between him and the victims' families.

Limerick-based solicitor John Herbert asked to be assigned to represent the accused man.

Supt Dan Flavin requested that Mr Geary be held in custody to Rathkeale District Court, which will sit in Newcastle West on Friday.

The judge remanded Mr Geary in custody to appear in the same courthouse again on November 26. She directed that he receive appropriate medical assistance while in custody.

The eldest brother of Ms Hines, Chris, was visibly upset after the hearing and was consoled by family members.

Christopher Hines senior -- Sarah's father and grandfather to Reece and Amy -- was also at the court.

Mr Geary was brought to prison under armed escort, passing close by the house at Hazelgrove where the two women and two children were found dead.

Irish Independent

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