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Friday 29 August 2014

VIDEO: Dramatic footage from nine-hour siege in Bailieborough

Alan O’Keeffe, Niall O’Connor and Ken Foy

Published 06/09/2013 | 05:41

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FOOTAGE showing Oliver Kierans shouting at armed gardai during the nine-hour siege in Bailieborough has emerged.

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The dramatic film shows members of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) surrounding a pub in the centre of the Co Cavan town as repeated attempts are made to get Mr Kierans, who was armed with a shotgun, to leave the premises.

Tonight, Mr Kierans is in Cavan General hospital this evening for assessment and observation where he is under armed guard.

Earlier today, he was arrested in connection to the death of his estranged wife, mother of four Patricia Kierans, who was found shot dead in her home.

The footage, which was shot throughout last night and into the early hours of this morning, shows Mr Kierans leaving the pub and shouting at gardai before going back into the premises.

The siege came to an end shortly after 3am this morning and Mr Kierans was arrested.

A major garda investigation is now underway.

It has since emerged that Patricia Kierans was in fear for her life in the weeks before she died.

Sources today said the victim was shot in the upper body in an upstairs bedroom by her estranged husband.

Her brutal death was followed by a dramatic siege of a pub in town last night which saw Oliver Kierans barricade himself into Nixer’s ‘Square Bar’ for nine hours.

Patricia Kierans (56) and her estranged husband, Oliver Kierans (56)
Patricia Kierans (56) and her estranged husband, Oliver Kierans (56)
The body of Patricia Cairns is removed from her home in Bailieborough, Co Cavan
06/09/2013 Garda at the house in Bailieborough Cavan where a womans body was found Photo Garrett White
The closed off house in Bailieborough Cavan where a womans body was found

The siege  prompted a large-scale garda operation involving armed members of the Emergency Response Unit (ERU)

Patricia Kierans' death has shocked the nation and left the community of Bailieborough “lost for words”.

The Herald can reveal that the grandmother left her home, in Drumbannon, and moved in with her sister Mairead.

It is understood that her sister raised the alarm when she could not contact Ms Kierans and asked gardai to go to the family home where Mr Kierans still resided.

Locals said Patricia's car was found parked at a little garage in the estate but there had been no sign of her.

How the tragedy unfolded

 

Her local priest today revealed that she had confided in him about being in fear of her life.

“She had confided in me quite a bit over the last year and she had expressed fear that her life was in danger,” Fr Oliver O'Reilly told RTE's ‘Morning Edition’.

“I had got her professional help.

“I feel personally devastated as well as the larger community with what has happened.”

Meanwhile, detectives were today continuing to question the victim’s husband in connection with both incidents.

Gardai say they are not looking for anyone else in relation to either the murder or the siege.

He entered the well-known Nixer's Square Bar, where he worked as a cleaner, armed with a shotgun and held up the pub.

When gardai - investigating the disappearance of Ms Kierans - approached the bar he threatened them with the gun.

Staff fled the scene and Mr Kierans, who was in a highly emotional state, locked himself in the basement.

A major garda operation was launched which involved members of the ERU and a specialist hostage negotiator.

Senior officers based in the garda headquarters in the Phoenix Park ordered a media blackout for several hours as intense negotiations with Mr Kierans took place.

A local garda is understood to have been integral in persuading the gunman to exit the pub.

The arrest followed a nine-hour stand-off with gardai at the bar, which ended - without injuries - at approximately 3am.

Locals said that Oliver Kierans was a native of Bailieborough. His father Joseph ran a successful garage in the town and Oliver had a talent for mechanics. It is understood that he ran a taxi business in the town for some time

The couple had four children - Oliver Jnr, Shane, Ger and Julie.

Ms Kierans said goodbye to her son Shane who left the country for Australia the day before she was shot dead. All her other children are currently living in Australia.

Oliver Kierans had his own taxi business up until around ten years ago and he also ran his own digger and plant hire business. He also worked in farming.

Locals said that he enjoyed a regular drink in local pubs and he did some casual work as a cleaner in Nixer's market square bar where the siege took place.

A man who witnessed the dramatic end to the siege said that at around 4am, three or four heavily armed gardai entered the premises through the front door.

Those who knew the victim said she had moved from Belfast to live in Co Cavan many years ago.

She was highly respected in the local community and was described as a “quiet woman”.

The gardai were inside for less than five minutes when they emerged onto the street once more.

Mr Kierans was taken out the back door of the pub and put into a silver coloured garda car and was driven off at a fast speed, said the eye witness.

The Kierans' family home at the Drumbannon estate on the outskirts of the town was sealed off with garda crime scene tape today.

Today, senior sources told the Herald that Mr Kierans, who is being held at Baileborough garda station, is known to gardai and is a heavy drinker.

He is also a well-known republican supporter.

Local businessman Peter Murtagh said the community knew there was “something serious” happening when the centre of the town remained blocked off by Gardai last night.

“It was a very frightening, a very frightening time,” Mr Murtagh told RTE.

“It’s just devastating news for the people of Bailieborough to wake up to this morning. It is so horrible, so riveting and brutal to be taken out of it like that.”

Mr Murtagh said Patricia Kierans moved to Bailieborough in the 1970s and was a “loved person” in the community.

“It is such a tragedy for those children,” he added.

“I don’t know how they will bear or burden it. They will need a lot of support to help cope with the huge grief that has been thrust onto them.”

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