Tuesday 12 December 2017

Family left with raft of unanswered questions over Margot's murder

The remains of Margot Seery are disinterred from Rathkeale parish graveyard in Rathkeale, Co Limerick. Photo: courtesy RTÉ ‘Prime Time’
The remains of Margot Seery are disinterred from Rathkeale parish graveyard in Rathkeale, Co Limerick. Photo: courtesy RTÉ ‘Prime Time’
Margot Seery
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

The family of murdered Margaret 'Margot' Seery have said that they have not decided whether to lodge a GSOC complaint over the 1994 garda investigation into her death.

Yesterday at Dublin Coroner's Court a new inquest into her death delivered a verdict that Ms Seery had been unlawfully killed and met her death by murder.

However, her family say they have been left with a number of unanswered questions into her death.

The mum-of-one was found dead in her Rathmines apartment in 1994 and an inquest later ruled out foul play.

However, 20 years later Howard Kelly walked into Rathmines garda station and confessed to killing her in her home.

Last November he was sentenced to life in prison.

Last year he released a statement to say that he is "tormented with guilt and remorse" for murdering her over 20 years ago.

A post mortem examination carried out in October 1994 wrongly found that Margot had died after choking on her own vomit as a result of alcohol intoxication. In fact she had been strangled to death.

An exhumation of her body in 2014 found that some of Margot's organs were missing. Her skull was also intact which led the family to question whether her brain had been examined fully.

Speaking on behalf of Margot's daughter Niamh Holliday, who is now married and living in Australia, Margot's brother Pa Guinane asked a number of questions at Dublin Coroners' Court yesterday.

Mr Guinane asked for an explanation for his sister's missing organs but was told that this was undetermined following a garda investigation.

He also questioned why Kelly was not quizzed in the first investigation having been the last person to see her alive but was told that this fact was not known at the time.

Questions over Margot's skull and the first autopsy were also left unanswered despite a garda probe.

"It's disappointing that we haven't got too many answers to the questions that we have and we are wondering if we ever will. There are a lot of questions to be asked [about the original investigation] into Margot's death," Mr Guinane said afterwards.

He said that there were avenues which weren't explored during the first investigation.

John Seery, Margot's husband whom she was separated from at the time, also expressed disappointment after the hearing.

"We don't really know why leads weren't followed up," he said.

"We have no answers about what happened them [the organs] and [we're] very disappointed about that."

Mr Guinane said that the family had not yet decided whether or not to follow up the case with the garda ombudsman.

Inspector George McGeary, who is attached to Terenure garda station, said in a statement read out in court that Kelly informed gardai that after joining Margot in her flat after meeting while socialising, he began to feel 'uncomfortable' and strangled her with the intention of killing her.

Irish Independent

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