Wife-killer McArdle finally sent to prison
Smirking wife killer Dermot McArdle is finally in a Spanish prison to serve a two-year sentence for the manslaughter of his wife, Kelly Ann, in February 2000.
The killer, from Dundalk, Co Louth, was taken to Dublin Airport on Friday and handed to two Spanish police officers who brought him on board the 2.35pm flight to Madrid.
Earlier in the week he had dropped a near-three year fight against his extradition. He told the High Court he was aware he would be taken into custody in Spain and be jailed.
It took Spanish police eight years to secure the conviction for manslaughter against McArdle, 42, and for a court in Malaga to hand down the normal two-year sentence under Spanish law in October 2008.
He finally lost his appeal against extradition in May. It is understood there were further delays due to uncertainty about Spain's deportation arrangements. A European arrest warrant was issued by Spanish authorities but they were inexperienced in bringing fugitives from Ireland.
Spanish prosecutors and police failed to prove a murder charge against McArdle but he was found guilty of manslaughter, an offence often punished only by a suspended sentence in Spain.
Kelly Ann Corcoran, 29, died from injuries a day after a February 2002 fall from the balcony of the Marbella hotel, in which they were staying with their two young sons.
Prosecutors claimed McArdle pushed his wife off the balcony after a violent row.
The court heard that on the night of her death, the couple had dinner and several drinks and Kelly Ann was angry after McArdle had been speaking to another woman.
The court heard that McArdle had been violent and abusive towards his wife in the past but this was denied in evidence by McArdle's sister.
The court heard the couple's son, Mark, who was three at the time, had told his aunt, Kelly Ann's sister, Caroline Moran, that his father pushed his mother off the balcony.
Ms Moran said Mark had told her: "Daddy bold. Daddy hit mammy. Daddy pushed mammy down."
She said of McArdle's attitude after his wife's death: "I never seen him cry, he showed no emotion, no feelings, no love towards Kelly-Ann."
Ms Moran said that at the funeral she put her hand on her sister's head in the coffin and the accused came over and said: "Get your effing hand off her head."
McArdle claimed his wife had died after she saw her son on the balcony and ran to grab him tripped and fell over the railing. He said he had managed to grab her arm but was unable to hold her. McArdle said in evidence that his version was true. "We are Catholics and we would not lie," he told the court.
The court heard pathology evidence that the body had no bruises. Spanish police staged a reconstruction of the possible events in the hotel room and claimed Kelly Ann could not have died in the fashion McArdle claimed.
Peter Moran, brother-in-law of Kelly-Ann, read out a statement on behalf of the Corcoran family on Friday which said: "The family are very pleased that this is another step in achieving justice for Kelly-Ann. We would like to thank all our friends and relatives who have helped us through this difficult time, and we would like to thank the authorities for all their hard work."