Thursday 26 April 2018

'It was just a dreadful day -- I don't think it'll ever go away'

Greg Harkin

MONASTERADEN is a small place, overlooking beautiful Lough Gara at the confluence of five roads on the Sligo-Roscommon Border.

It may be off the beaten track, but tourists come here to get away from it all.

And in the late-1990s, they had a choice of two well-run B&Bs.

In the centre of the hamlet stood Lough Gara View, run by the Doohan family. It's still there today, but run by a different family. Just 700 metres away stood Lough Gara House, run by Margaret and Terence Madden.

By 1999 Michael Doohan, then a 34-year-old private in the Defence Forces, had built up a grudge against the Maddens, furious that tourists were choosing to stay there instead of with his mum.

Doohan hired Fermanagh native and small-time crook Michael Herron to do damage to the Maddens' business.

For a fee of £1,500 Herron and father-of-12 Patrick McGrath travelled on a cold January morning that year to Monasteraden.

Doohan ordered them to "cripple" Terence Madden.

Herron did what he was told, but he didn't know that blasting Mr Madden at close range with a shotgun would kill him, after severing an artery in one leg.

Mrs Madden would later tell of how she lay in the back yard of her home after suffering a heart attack on hearing the blasts that killed her husband.

The murder still scars Monasteraden. The Doohan family moved shortly after the killing, and the Maddens' B&B never re-opened.

"It was just a dreadful day and I don't think it will ever go away," said Mr Madden's sister Freddy, who runs the village post office.

"Terence was such a wonderful, wonderful person."

Irish Independent

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