Monday 20 November 2017

Man (41) denies strangling female friend, court told

Natasha Reid

A 41-year-old man has gone on trial at the Central Criminal Court, charged with murdering a female friend two years ago.

Colm Deely, of School Road in Ballyvaughan, Co Clare, denies murdering Deirdre McCarthy (43), between 11pm on March 27, 2011 and noon the following day.

Ms McCarthy's body was found washed up on Fanore Beach a few days later. She had been strangled.

Her best friend, Karen McGann, told the court she dropped Ms McCarthy home to Turlough House, outside Ballyvaughan, Co Clare, on March 27. They had been socialising with friends including the accused in a pub in the village.

She said she lived across the road from Ms McCarthy, who was to help her spring clean her guest house the following morning.

She said she became concerned when she couldn't get through to her by phone after she failed to show up.

EVIDENCE

She said she went across to Ms McCarthy's home and noticed that her bedroom curtains were closed, something she said was unusual.

Ms McGann had a spare key and let herself in.

She noticed the clothes Ms McCarthy was wearing the night before were by her bed.

She also drove around the village looking for Ms McCarthy and phoned a number of friends, including the accused.

"I rang him to see had he seen Deirdre, had he picked her up or given her a lift," she said. "He said she'd probably gone off for coffee: 'She'll probably turn up soon'."

She said she also met Mr Deely in the village twice that day and aired her concerns. He told her not to worry and that she would turn up.

She said that Mr Deely did not join her searching for their friend.

She said that Ms McCarthy didn't drive or have a car but would never walk alone after dark. She would get lifts from herself or Mr Deely, she explained.

Paul Greene, prosecuting, told the jury yesterday that Mr Deely was the last person to see Ms McCarthy alive.

Mr Greene said there was mobile phone contact between the deceased and the accused, finishing at 5am on March 28.

"There'll be evidence that he was in Turlough House," he added.

The trial continues.

Irish Independent

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