Tuesday 16 January 2018

Patricia Kierans found by gardai lying on bedroom floor next to a cot, court hears

Patricia Kierans
Patricia Kierans
Oliver Kierans (57) of Drumbannon Bailieboro, Co. Cavan
Patricia Kierans with her estranged husband Oliver Kierans.
Oliver Kierans

Anne Sharkey

A murder trial has heard that the body of a Cavan woman Patricia Kierans was found by gardai lying on the floor of a bedroom next to a cot at her family home.

Oliver Kierans (57) of Drumbannon Bailieboro in Cavan has pleaded not guilty to murdering Patricia Kierans (54) on September 5, 2013 at the same address.

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

Garda Adrian O' Hanlon of Virginia Garda Station was giving evidence at the Central Criminal Court today.

He confirmed with prosecuting counsel Michael O'Higgins that he was made aware on the evening of September 5 that his colleagues were investigating a missing person and that there was also a critical incident at The Square bar in Bailieboro.

The court heard that Garda O'Hanlon was then directed to go to the Kierans family home where upon arrival, he knocked loudly on the door and called out Patricia's name and saying "is anybody home?".

Garda O'Hanlon confirmed that after removing glass from the back door of the house, he entered with a colleague at 7pm and searched the sitting room quickly.

He then went upstairs to a room which had "a cot and dolls" in it.

"You found there the body of a female lying on the ground with her legs and feet close to the cot," said Mr O' Higgins to which he replied "correct".

Garda O'Hanlon confirmed that he recognised her as Patricia Kierans, wife of Oliver Kierans and that his colleague had checked for a pulse but that there was none present.

"There appeared to be a lot of blood under the body and on the jeans," added Mr O'Higgins to which Garda O'Hanlon replied "yes".  

The court heard that two empty naggin bottles were found downstairs in the sitting room beside a note written in blue pen by Oliver Kierans to his children outlining some of the problems between him and Patricia Kierans. 

Garda Tommy Fay told the court he had known Oliver Kierans for 28 years. 

He confirmed with counsel for the prosecution, Mr Michael O'Higgins, that on September 5, 2013 at 7pm, he had volunteered to go down to The Square bar.

Upon entering the premises, the court heard that Garda Fay called out "Olly, Olly, it's Tommy Fay - can I have a word with you" to which there was no reply.

Garda Fay confirmed that as the lights came on, he remembered seeing the accused with a double barrel shotgun pointed towards him and that he doesnt remember  exactly what was said as a result of the fright he got.

The jury heard that he then instinctively raised his hands and backed off, leaving the room immediately, clearing the pub and seeking further assistance.

The court heard from Superintendent Eugene Brennan who spoke with a trained negotiator that evening who had been called to The Square bar to deal with what was now being treated as a critical incident.

Superintendent Brennan confirmed that gardai were observing the accused through a live feed connected to CCTV within the nightclub section of The Square bar where Mr Kierans remained on his own.

Taking to the stand, Sergeant Ronan Carey of Dundalk Garda Station confirmed with Garret Baker BL prosecuting that on the 5 of September, he was required to go to the scene at The Square bar and lend armed support to the incident.

The court heard that Sergeant Carey directed gardai to equip themselves with "ballistic shields and less lethal weapons".

Sergeant Carey confirmed that he took up position at the rear of The Square bar where the accused was arrested at 3.20am by a colleague on suspicion of having committed the offence of murder on Patricia Kierans. 

Under cross examination by counsel for the defence Mr Anthony Sammon, Sergeant  Carey confirmed that emergency response were called at the conclusion of the "siege" and observed that the weapon was in a closed position in nightclub of The Square.

The trial is dealing with legal issues and will resume in evidence on Friday (13th) before Ms Justice Aileen Donnelly and a jury of five women and seven men.

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