Wednesday 18 September 2019

Man accused of murdering Irish wife in US pleads not guilty as she's laid to rest in Co Galway

Roderick Munstis Photo: Derry NH Police Department
Roderick Munstis Photo: Derry NH Police Department

Alan Sherry

An Irish pensioner who was shot dead in the US earlier this month was buried in her native Carraroe, Co Galway on Friday.

Ellen Munstis (nee Lydon), 74, was shot dead at her home in Derry, New Hampshire, around 50km north of Boston, on August 10.

Her husband Roderick Munstis, 79, has appeared in court in the Us where he pleaded not guilty to her murder.

She is originally from Tismane in Carraroe but emigrated to the US a number of years ago. A number of her siblings still live in Carraroe where her family run the local funeral home.

Police said they responded to a 911 call made by Ellen’s husband and found her dead at the scene. She died of multiple gunshot wounds to the chest.

Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald said: “At approximately 12:03 a.m. on August 10, 2019, Derry Police were routed a 911 call from the residence at 151 Bypass 28 in Derry. The caller identified himself as Roderick Munstis. Upon arrival at the home, responding officers discovered the other resident of the home, Ellen Munstis, deceased from apparent gunshot wounds.

“Mr. Munstis has been arrested on alternative counts of knowing and reckless second-degree murder for killing Ellen Munstis.

“The charges and allegations are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”

Authorities did not say what Mr Munstis said on the 911 call or what potential motive there may have been for the shooting.

Kirsten Cote (26) who lived next door to the couple in Derry said the couple were pleasant and quiet neighbours who she described as “very sweet”.

“They always have been here as neighbours,” she told the Eagle-Tribune, adding that she was “completely shocked” by what happened.

“We never had an issue with them. They’ve always been nice, but kept to themselves.”

She added that they would frequently come in and order food when she worked at a local McDonald’s.

She said she hadnt heard any noise from the house on the night Ellen was killed and only became aware of what happened when emergency servcies arrived.

Ellen emigrated to the U.S. decades ago and worked in the Internal Revenue Service before retiring a number of years ago.

Her late sister Mary, who was a nun, also emigrated to the U.S. and lived in Boston until her death in 2015.

Ellen’s body was repatriated to Ireland last week and was reposing at her family’s funeral home Lydon’s on Thursday.

She is survived by her brothers Bartley, Michael, Stephen and Josie.

She was predeceased by her parents Patrick and Bridget and siblings Sean, Colman, Patrick, Mark, Sr Mary and Barbara.

Her funeral mass took place in St Mac Dara Church in Carraroe on Friday before her burial at Clynagh Cemetery.

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