Wednesday 17 January 2018

Killer's suicide 'won't fix broken hearts left by James's death'

Murdered man James Hughes from Crossmaglen
Murdered man James Hughes from Crossmaglen

Edel O'Connell

THE uncle of GAA star James Hughes who was shot dead last week said his killer's suicide would not bring his nephew back nor mend the broken hearts he left behind.

Shane Rogers (32), who had admitted the murder of club football star Mr Hughes (35), had been on suicide watch in Cloverhill prison in west Dublin.

But he hanged himself in a holding cell in the adjoining Cloverhill courthouse while awaiting his transfer back to the prison after a court appearance on Tuesday morning.

He was deemed to be a suicide risk after he told gardai that he could not live with himself following the shooting of Mr Hughes last Sunday week. Mr Hughes was hit by two blasts from a shotgun as he was dropping his female friend home after a night out.

The Crossmaglen player had been sitting in a taxi with his friend Patricia Byrne (21) outside Cluain Ard, Lis na Dara housing estate at Carrick Road, Dundalk, Co Louth.

Ms Byrne, a nurse at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Dundalk, and taxi driver Anthony Callan, were also injured.

She has since been released from hospital and is being cared for at her family home .


She underwent treatment for gunshot pellet wounds to her face and upper body.

Yesterday, Mr Hughes's uncle, Niall Hughes, said Mr Rogers's suicide wouldn't bring James back and "wouldn't mend the broken hearts" of his family.

"He was such a popular guy; everyone liked him. It is such a terrible waste of a life. This won't bring him back," he said.

Mr Hughes added that the family, who lost their mother Joan to sudden adult death syndrome eight months previously, was just beginning to come to terms with her death.

"She was just 55-years-old when she died. The family was just beginning to show signs that they were beginning to come to terms with it when this happened," he said.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that an internal investigation into Mr Rogers's death is focusing on the measures taken to prevent a suicide while he was in a holding cell.

It is trying to determine if the same strict procedures were in operation during his stay in the holding cell. A separate inquiry into the death is also being carried out by the gardai.

Mr Rogers will be buried following a funeral mass at Mother of Mercy Church, Inniskeen in Co Monaghan, on Monday.

Irish Independent

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