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Sunday 23 October 2016

Margot Seery's killer releases statement to say he is 'tormented with guilt and remorse' over murder

Geraldine Gittens

Published 10/11/2015 | 22:35

Niamh Holliday, daughter of Margot Seery. Photo: RTE Prime Time
Niamh Holliday, daughter of Margot Seery. Photo: RTE Prime Time
Margot Seery

The killer of Dublin woman Margot Seery (48) has released a statement to say that he is “tormented with guilt and remorse” for murdering her 21 years ago.

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In a statement given to RTÉ Prime Time via his solicitor, Howard Kelly said he regards his actions with “abhorrence” and he hopes the life sentence he has been handed down “is of some comfort” to Margot’s daughter Niamh and her family.

Yesterday, Howard Kelly was handed the life sentence after he walked into a garda station and confessed to "strangling" Margot Seery in her home 21 years ago in a "completely unprovoked" attack.

“I want to express my deepest regret and remorse for the shock, pain and suffering that has been caused to the family of Margaret Seery by me coming forward with my confession. I understand that this is the worst possible news one could possibly hear about a family member,” the statement read.

“I cannot describe how sorry I am for what I have done nor the abhorrence I have for my actions. I wish to apologise for both my actions and the delay in coming forward. I am tormented with guilt and remorse and I hope the life sentence handed down by the court is of some comfort to Niamh and her family.”

Howard Kelly was charged with the murder of Margot Seery (48) on March 27 this year.

Yesterday, he pleaded guilty to murdering Ms Seery at her home in Kenilworth Square, Dublin 6 on or between October 7 and October 8 1994.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment and backdated it from March 27 2015.

In the statement to RTE Prime Time, Kelly said: “There is nothing I can say in defence of my shameful actions and I know the anger caused to Margaret Seery’s family must be indescribable. Your anger and my shame is the only living path I could choose in order to do the right thing, although I completely accept that forgiveness may never be possible,” Kelly added in the statement.

 “I am sorry for taking so long to begin my incarceration and I hope the time served will emphasise my deep remorse and bring you peace in whatever way may be possible.”

Meanwhile, Margot Seery’s only child, Niamh Holliday (nee Seery), told RTE Prime Time of her relief at knowing the truth about her mother’s death.

For over twenty years, Niamh was led to believe that her mother had died accidentally after drinking alcohol.

A post mortem examination carried out in October 1994 wrongly found that Margot had died after choking on her own vomit as a result of alcohol intoxication.

In fact, unbeknownst to anyone but the killer, Margot had actually been strangled to death by a man she had only met by chance that night.

Yesterday as the killer Howard Kelly was jailed for life, evidence was given of how Margot had offered Howard Kelly a cup of coffee in her flat at Kenilworth Square in Dublin 6 in order to sober up, and in order to get him away from her friend who he had spoken with out on the road.

The court heard how Kelly spent up to five minutes choking Margot to death before putting her body face down on her bed and pulling the door of her flat shut behind him.

“It was horrible hearing about those last few minutes to think the pure terror that she went through, in those 3-5 minutes or whatever it was and that thing was just the pure terror and fear” Niamh told RTE Prime Time.

Niamh told reporter Barry Cummins that she was grateful to Howard Kelly for finally telling the truth as it allowed her to know that her mother did nothing to cause her own death, and was in fact doing a good charitable act when she was attacked.

“I kept thinking how did he do what he did. Yes it seemed like a bit of a spur of the moment decision that he did what he did. But he knew what he was doing. You know he kind of said he knew what he was doing.”

“I have been trying to think what the word is that I am. I can’t say I’m happy about finding out my Mam was murdered but I am happy we know the truth. If anything I am very grateful to Howard Kelly for actually coming forward to tell us this. I’m not angry any more. He has come forward, he has told the truth. And because he told the truth, we know the truth.”

Niamh was only twelve years old when her mother was murdered.  She has vivid memories of the last time she saw her mother as she headed off for a visit to her father’s house.

“Said goodbye to my Mam when I was leaving. Pressed the buzzer on the door like I always did and she used to look out the window and shout down ‘bye’ to me. That was all good. On Saturday morning I called her at work just to see how things were. No real reason, they told me she hadn’t turned into work.”

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