Sunday 8 December 2019

High Court to decide on Sylvia Roche Kelly case

Sylvia Roche Kelly
Sylvia Roche Kelly

Tim Healy

THE High Court will give a decision at a later date on an application by the State to strike out an action for damages by the widower of a murdered mother-of-two.

The body of Sylvia Roche Kelly, from Sixmilebridge, Co Clare, was found lying face down in the bath of a hotel in December 2007, after she met her murderer while out celebrating her 33rd birthday. She had been violently beaten and strangled.Five years ago, Gerard McGrath (29), Ballywalter, Knockavilla, Co Tipperary, was sentenced at the Central Criminal Court to life imprisonment after he admitted murdering her at the Clarion Hotel, Limerick, on December 8, 2007. He was given a mandatory life sentence.

McGrath was on bail at that time on a charge of assaulting a woman taxi driver in April 2007.

Lorcan Roche Kelly sued the State and others, on behalf of his two children, alleging his wife's killer was "free to commit the crime of murder when he should have been in custody." The defendants deny all claims.

Central to the case is that gardai did not present a case opposing bail and McGrath was at large as a result.

Yesterday, President of the High Court, Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns reserved his decision after hearing submissions on behalf of both sides.

Andrew Sexton SC, for the Roche Kellys, said the "stark dates" of the case included that McGrath was charged with assault on the woman taxi driver in Cavan in April 2007 and was admitted to bail.

Irish Independent

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