Monday 17 December 2018

'I'm innocent - I did not hire a man to kill my wife,' businessman insists

Alan White, former husband of Irene White pictured outside the court after the trial of Anthony Lambe concluded. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Alan White, former husband of Irene White pictured outside the court after the trial of Anthony Lambe concluded. Photo: Gerry Mooney Newsdesk Newsdesk

THE husband of murdered Irene White has insisted he is an innocent man, but would not be "surprised" if he is arrested by gardai in the near future.

Businessman Alan White was speaking after a life sentence was handed down to Anthony Lambe (34), a history student who claimed he was paid to murder the mother-of-three in the kitchen of her home in Louth in 2005.

The late Irene White.
The late Irene White.

Speaking to the Sunday World, Mr White said he not hire Lambe: "I didn't even know the f**king chap".

Ms White (43) was stabbed 34 times and had her throat cut as she was disturbed while doing the dishes in the kitchen of her home, in Dundalk, Co Louth, on the morning of April 6, 2005. Her body was discovered by her mother. There was no sign of forced entry and nothing was taken.

Lambe was eventually tracked down last year after the Garda's Serious Crime Review Team looked into the original investigation. He has been jailed for life after admitting he killed Ms White for cash.

Her former husband has insisted he wasn't involved in her death, nor was he part of an alleged group including Lambe who conspired to kill Ms White.

But he said he would not be surprised if he was arrested by investigating gardai for a second time.

"Nothing would surprise me anymore. In a way I wish they would because I might get some answers," Mr White told the Sunday World.

Lambe came on the Garda's radar after the cold-case review was launched in 2011. A woman in Australia contacted a confidential telephone line to say he had confessed the murder to her. It took four more years before gardai identified the woman and travelled to Australia to formally interview her.

According to sources familiar with the investigation, Lambe was shocked when he was arrested in his home town of Castleblaney, Co Monaghan, last January as he never expected to be caught. He was then a Phd student with a special interest in archaeology.

He confessed at the outset, telling gardai that he was "paid" to kill Ms White, a woman he never knew, and that he was given the layout of her house.

Lambe claimed he was in a "very bad place" at the time, on drugs and in debt.

He took a cocktail of ecstasy, cocaine and alcohol before going to Ms White's house. He said that after he attacked her, he said a prayer over her body and then jumped over the back wall of the house and ran. He was promised €10,000 but was paid less than half of that, sources said.

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