Tuesday 20 March 2018

Man accused of murder is placed on suicide watch

Óisín Conroy
Óisín Conroy

Robin Schiller

The family of a young woman who was allegedly murdered at home say "there are no words" to explain the impact of the tragedy.

Natalie McGuinness (23) was discovered at an address on Mail Coach Road, Sligo at approximately 10.30 on Wednesday morning, but despite the best efforts of paramedics, she was pronounced dead a short time later at the county's regional hospital.

A 33-year-old man has been placed on suicide watch after he was charged with her murder.

Óisín Conroy, of the Mews, Mail Coach Road, Co Sligo, appeared before a sitting of Sligo District Court yesterday.

Jodie McGuinness, one of Natalie's two siblings, said in an online post: "There are no words that can express how me and my family are feeling.

"We've lost our sister and daughter. Natalie will never, ever leave us and she will live on in our hearts. My world has been ripped in two and I will love my sister forever and ever."

Earlier, Mr Conroy appeared in court, dressed in a grey hoodie and wearing a bandage around his head. The accused did not address the court during the hearing.

Giving evidence, Sgt Patrick Harney said he arrested the accused at 12.05am yesterday morning at Sligo garda station in relation to the death of Ms McGuinness.

At 12.54am, he charged Óisín Conroy with murder, to which the defendant made no reply.

Inspector Paul Kilcoyne asked that Mr Conroy be remanded in Castlerea prison to appear before a sitting of Harristown court this morning.

However, counsel for the defence, Keith O'Grady, informed Judge Kilrane that there was no sitting at Harristown court tomorrow and asked for the defendant to appear before Sligo court next Thursday.

Counsel for the defence asked that his client be afforded "urgent medical attention" and said Mr Conroy had received this while in garda custody.

Mr O'Grady also asked for his client to receive a psychiatric evaluation as "a matter of urgency", adding: "I don't feel that anyone from the State would dispute that."

The judge inquired if the defendant was at risk of self-harming, to which Inspector Kilcoyne replied "His wounds were self-inflicted", that he "had hurt himself with a weapon" and that Mr Conroy was "a threat to himself".

The defendant was subsequently remanded to Castlerea prison. He will appear before the court again on Thursday, November 5.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News