Saturday 1 October 2016

'I was terrified he would hunt us down' - Mark Nash's daughter grew up fearing her dad would murder herself and her mum

Published 06/05/2015 | 08:14

Mark Nash was found guilty of the murders of Sylvia Shiels and Mary Callinan in March 1997
Mark Nash was found guilty of the murders of Sylvia Shiels and Mary Callinan in March 1997
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
Accused: Mark Nash

The daughter of a renowned serial killer has revealed how she grew up with the fear that her father would track down herself and her mother to murder them.

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Ella Porter (18) found out four years ago that her absent "deadbeat dad" was actually jailed murderer Mark Nash.

In the second part of an exclusive interview with the Irish Daily Star, Ella said that "veiled threats" written in letters from Nash to her mother Lucy in England left them terrified.

"I was always really afraid that one day he would come.... that I would open my door and he would be there," she said.

Sarah Jane Doyle who was left for dead by Nash and had to face him in court.
Sarah Jane Doyle who was left for dead by Nash and had to face him in court.

"I was always scared that he would find a way to contact me and that I wouldn't know what to do, and that he would do something really, really horrible to me and my mother... I was really, really afraid of that."

English-born Nash is currently serving several life sentences for the 1997 murders of a young couple at their home in Roscommon and the vicious killings of two older women at Grangegorman sheltered accommodation.

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

Read more: Timeline: The Grangegorman murders... 18 years later Nash is found guilty

Nash left his 10-month-old daughter Ella in the rural Roscommon house on August 16, 1997 after he stabbed Catherine Doyle a total of 16 times, stabbed her husband Carl six times in the heart and left his girlfriend Sarah Jane Doyle for dead after hitting her over the head with a stove handle and pushing her down the stairs.

Mark Nash
Mark Nash

Most recently, he has been found guilty of the murders of Mary Callanan (61) and Sylvia Sheils (60) who were found dead in sheltered accommodation at Grangegorman, having suffered horrific and multiple fatal injuries with a carving fork and other implements.

Ella's mother Lucy, who was not in a relationship with Nash at the time, brought her daughter to live in England soon after the murders.

However, soon after, jailed Nash began to bombard Lucy with letters, telling her he was a "reformed bastard" and that he really missed her and his young daughter.

Ella believes that the evil killer lied about his prior actions and his intentions in his mail to England "to fool" the police as "he knew [they] would be reading his letters".

"All the time he ever contacted my mother it was to scare her into bringing me to him or for the police to think he was getting better," she said.

"But I don't believe that anyone in their right mind could do the things he did to other people... there has to be something very, very wrong with someone to be able to do what he did... I really do think that he is some kind of monster."

Read more: 'I think he's a monster' - Mark Nash's daughter (18) describes shocking moment she discovered her dad was notorious killer 

Ella also believes that Nash may have killed in the UK before the 1997 murders.

"I think it was possible that he killed before because he knew what he was doing after the killings. He shaved his head and tried to make himself look different," she said.

"And I don't believe that anyone would go to such lengths unless they'd had a past with it."

Following evidence that Lucy - as a young mother - gave to gardai in 1998 outlining how Nash had attacked her during their relationship, he threatened her in a note: "Seems you gave one hell of a statement, Lucy? Turning me out like that ain't necessary".

"Because my mother testified against him I believed that she was hardly in his good books... so I reckoned in my nightmares that he was going to come and get her and I wouldn't be able to do anything...that I wouldn't be able to run away," Ella revealed.

"I'm very afraid of him".

Ella said that her mother was "very brave" to travel to Ireland in February this year to testify against her former evil partner again - and spoke of their relief at his sentencing.

"I was shocked but I was happy. I have no affection for him...there's no love. I hate him.... he hurt my mum and he could have hurt me."

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