Wednesday 24 January 2018

Oliver Kierans (57) tells court his wife had 'fixation that he was having an affair'

Patricia and Oliver Kierans
Patricia and Oliver Kierans
Oliver Kierans (57) of Drumbannon Bailieboro, Co. Cavan

Anne Sharkey

The jury in a murder trial has heard that the last words a Cavan man said to his wife before shooting her were "the children will come home and bring you back to Australia".

Oliver Kierans (57) of Drumbannon Bailieboro in Cavan has pleaded not guilty to murdering Patricia Kierans on the 5 of September 2013 at the same address.

He also pleaded not guilty to unlawful possession of a 12 gauge double barrel shotgun and not guilty to intent to endanger life with the same shotgun.

Taking to the stand, Oliver Kierans told Anthony Sammon SC defending that he was 17-years-old when he first met Patricia and that they had married in 1980.

The court heard that out of their four children, three have moved to Australia along with six of their ten grandchildren.

When asked about "difficulties" within his relationship with Patricia, the accused said that his wife had a "fixation" that he was having an affair.

Mr Sammon confirmed with the accused that his wife had her tarot cards read.

"Pat loved that type of stuff - an affair was coming up on the cards - I have no explanation for it."

When questioned about shortening the barrels of a shotgun, the accused said that the reason he did that was because his only child who had remained in Ireland was moving to Australia.

"They were all gone and I just wanted to end my life."

When asked how he would use the shotgun, the accused replied "under the chin" gesturing to that part of his neck in court today.

The accused told the jury on September 5th 2013 that when he got to the family home with Patricia, she had gone upstairs to pick up clothes for her brother. 

"I went to the kitchen to put the kettle on and Pat went up the stairs to see what clothes belonged to Brendan (brother).

"The curtains were closed and the room was in darkness. I opened the curtains and she saw the gun and said 'whats that doing there'".

"I said 'I'm gonna prove to you once and for all I'm having no affair - the children will come home and bring you back to Australia'".

"I intended to kill myself - I went to lift the gun - she said 'no I believe ya - don't' and the yoke hit the top of my hand."

"I picked the gun up and put another cartridge in - I was going to finish it all off - I would have to give them (children) an answer why mams dead."

Under cross examination by Mr Michael O Higgins SC prosecuting, the accused was asked if the shooting of Patricia Kierans had anything to do with her thinking the accused had an affair.

"No, I explained what way it happened, it was an accident."

When asked in court why he had gone back on the drink after abstaining for the summer, the accused said "because Shane was going to Australia".

When asked if he had been jealous by the thought of Patricia with someone else, he replied "no". 

Mr O'Higgins asked the accused in court when he first realized that Patricia had a new boyfriend to which he replied "Tuesday the third (September)".

Reading over a previous garda interview with the accused, Mr O'Higgins stated "The guards asked you the same question and you said 'I never knew'".

Mr O'Higgins questioned the accused as to why he didn't ring for an ambulance after the shooting.

"I was in a state of shock - I gave an act of contrition - I can't recall hours after that."

Mr O'Higgins concluded saying "The precise circumstances will never be known - you maneuvered a situation where the two of you were upstairs. You were a very angry man and you produced the gun and you shot her" to which he replied "no".

The trial continues tomorrow before Ms Justice Aileen Donnelly and a jury of five women and seven men.

Online Editors

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