News Irish News

Tuesday 23 January 2018

Irish conwoman had no conscience, say stepdaughters

Julia Holmes with her second husband Clyde Parrish from Texas and her stepdaughters Kimberly (left) and Rosalyn (top)
Julia Holmes with her second husband Clyde Parrish from Texas and her stepdaughters Kimberly (left) and Rosalyn (top)
Holmes with former US vice president Dan Quayle
Holmes and Kimberly with actor Patrick Swayze at an event in Texas

Robin Schiller

The stepdaughters of Irish conwoman Julia Holmes, who was found dead next to her partner last month, have said that she had no conscience.

The 63-year-old's body was discovered beside her partner Tom Ruttle in Askeaton, Co Limerick, three weeks ago.

Two US women, who were raised as stepdaughters by Julia Holmes while she was married to their father Clyde Parrish, have told how she lied to them from the start.

Holmes mixed in high society while she lived in Texas, joining the Republican party and meeting former vice-president Dan Quayle, as well as Hollywood actor Patrick Swayze.

However, behind the facade of meeting powerful politicians and famous actors, she was a con artist who defrauded local businesses.

"She said she was from Ireland and that her family back in Ireland had died in a house fire," Rosalyn Frazier said of Holmes, who she had known for over 20 years.

"That's not the story I got," Kimberly Parrish-Sanders said.

"I was told there were two brothers left and their wives and children.

"And that she did have a son and he had died of cancer at the age of 13. In actual fact, I believe her son is four years older than me, I believe he is 44 now.

"She was a chameleon. Why didn't she use that to do well - to build an empire? She would have been the most successful person you've ever met had she put her talents to good use," Kimberly told RTÉ's 'Prime Time'.

Julia Holmes's American dream came to an end in the Federal courthouse in Tyler, Texas, in 2004. She pleaded guilty to defrauding people of a total of over $500,000, and spent 27 months in prison in the US before being deported back to Ireland.

Known by at least 40 different aliases, including Julia Ruttle, she was actively being sought by the PSNI at the time of her death, in relation to a £18,000 fraud she perpetrated in Northern Ireland in 2009.

She absconded in 2011 while she was still facing charges.

Julia Holmes continued her fraudulent ways south of the border, conning several locals and business in the Limerick area.

Neither she or her partner Tom had been seen for several weeks in Askeaton, where they lived.

The pair were eventually discovered at a farmhouse belonging to Tom Ruttle, by two would-be burglars.

It is believed the pair poisoned themselves in an apparent suicide pact.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

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

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News