'Former soldier killed woman then played cards,' trial hears
The trial of a retired member of the defence forces accused of murdering a woman four years ago has heard that he told a man he had killed her.
Jimmy Devaney (66), of Millbrook Avenue, Monksland, Athlone, Co Westmeath, has pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to murdering Marie Greene in Westmeath on February 13, 2011.
The court heard Ms Greene, who was working as a prostitute, was last seen alive on the evening of February 13 and her body was found in a bog near Ballykieran outside Athlone nine days later.
The jury was told the accused had been playing cards in a casino in Athlone that night as he regularly did but left and returned later that evening.
Alan Kavanagh who owned the Lighthouse Casino in Custume Barracks said Mr Devaney was the first into the club that night and told him there was a girl blackmailing him and said that he had killed her because she might tell his wife and children. Mr Kavanagh testified that the accused told him who he had killed and that it had happened in a bog.
He said he had a CCTV system in the club and the accused asked him if he could get rid of the cameras.
"He just said that the girl was blackmailing him, she was driving him mad or whatever and he said she was going to tell his wife," said Mr Kavanagh.
He said he was not aware that Ms Greene was missing at that point but became aware of it at a later stage.
Mr Kavanagh agreed with Giollaiosa O Lideadha SC, defending, under cross-examination that he gave a statement to gardaí that when Mr Devaney returned to the club there was a bit of what looked like blood on his shirt his hands were shaking also. The prosecution claims Ms Greene was murdered by Mr Devaney because she was blackmailing him.
The deceased's sister, Julie Greene, told the court she knew her sister went with men in cars for money but it was unusual for her not to return.