B&B widow to get fraction of payout from husband's killers
THE widow of a murder victim who won compensation from his killers will only get a third of the damages after a landmark legal case.
Terence Madden, the husband of Margaret Madden, who ran a bed and breakfast, was blasted to death in a contract killing in 1999 by a gang hired by the son of a rival business owner.
The murder at the Madden family Lough Gara House B&B in the sleepy village of Monasteraden, Co Sligo, was ordered by former soldier Michael Doohan, whose family once ran the Lough Gara View B&B just 700 metres away.
Mrs Madden was awarded €720,000 by the High Court after a nine-year legal battle with the men convicted of her husband's murder. However, the Irish Independent has learned the 58-year-old is only likely to receive around €250,000.
Solicitor John Kelly, of Callan Tansey solicitors, said he had been pursuing the case since 2003 and had secured assets against three of those convicted in the case.
"Doohan had a property in Sligo which he tried to hide from us, but we pursued it and we were able to obtain a court order freezing the cash from that sale," Mr Kelly said.
It's understood the house sold for €100,000. Two other assets will also be sold, said Mr Kelly. One is a rundown cottage in the townland of Cuilpruglish, 5km outside Gurteen in Co Sligo. It was owned by another of the killers, Patrick McGrath.
However it is so dilapidated the site and property is thought to be worth less than €75,000.
A third asset was owned by the man who supplied the shotgun to the hit team, Thomas Derrig, from Culfadda, near Ballymote. It consists of a small house and land, again thought to be worth around €75,000.
Derrig was given a suspended prison sentence and died in 2010.
A fourth man -- Joseph Herron, from Belleek, Co Fermanagh -- was jailed for life along with McGrath and Doohan. He didn't have any assets.
But Mr Kelly insisted "it was never about the money for Mrs Madden. The family always felt outside the loop during the criminal case. This was always about justice."
Mr Madden, a popular community activist and father of three, was just 52 when he was ambushed as he got into his car at his home on January 28, 1999.
Outside the Four Courts yesterday his emotional widow said the last few years had been "very hard" for both her and her family.
"I'm relieved. . . and I'd like to thank the solicitors and barristers for helping us with this case," Mrs Madden said.
"Today is justification, we feel we've done something for Terry to make up for what happened to him.
"Today justifies the whole 10 years," she added.
"This case, the first of it's kind in the Irish courts, took a lot of courage for the Madden family to bring," Mr Kelly told the Irish Independent.