Wednesday 22 November 2017

I did it, man tells Cavan murder probe detectives

Brian Hutton

A general labourer charged with murdering a pensioner in a psychiatric hospital told detectives he killed him.

Ian Harmon, 47, from Carrigallen, Mountain Lodge, Cootehill, Co Cavan, was arrested last night over the death of 82-year-old Michael Treanor at Cavan General Hospital.

An investigating Garda sergeant told Cavan District Court that he charged Mr Harmon, a married father of one, at 10.54pm for the murder of the patient.

Sergeant Seamus Green said that, when cautioned, Mr Harmon replied: "Yes, I did it. I've given statements that I done it."

The accused and the dead man were patients in the psychiatric unit.

Harmon was dressed in a blue hooded top, navy tracksuit bottoms, a grey T-shirt and white trainers and flanked by two gardai during the brief hearing.

Judge Sean McBride remanded the accused in custody at Castlerea Prison to appear before Virginia District Court next Tuesday.

After an application from his solicitor, Judge McBride recommended the defendant be transferred to Cloverhill Prison in Dublin for an urgent medical and psychiatric examination and assessment.

The killing occurred yesterday in the Cavan-Monaghan Mental Health Acute Inpatient Unit in Cavan General Hospital.

Harmon was originally arrested yesterday morning under Section 4 of the Criminal Law Act and questioned at Cavan Garda Station.

Sgt Green told the court that, when he cautioned the accused and asked him if he understood, he nodded that he did.

He was later released at 10.20pm and immediately re-arrested under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, for the purpose of being charged, the judge heard.

Sgt Green said that, after making him aware of what the re-arrest meant, he then charged the accused at 10.54pm, explained the charges and cautioned him again.

Solicitor Damien Rudden said he had no questions for the court about the charges.

But he requested that his client be allowed the transfer to Cloverhill for the purposes of medical assistance and a psychiatric assessment.

Mr Rudden said he was also seeking legal aid on behalf of Harmon because of the gravity of the charges against him and his circumstances as a married father of one, working as a general labourer.

Judge McBride granted the application and said any bail application would have to be made to the High Court.

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