Sunday 21 January 2018

'Last time you'll see this face' murder suspects words to barmaid

The Square Bar in Bailieborough Cavan
The Square Bar in Bailieborough Cavan
Patricia and Oliver Kierans, from Bailieborough, Co Cavan.
The house in Bailieborough, Co Cavan, where the body of Patricia Kierans (inset) was discovered by gardai.
Shane Kierans and his wife Tracey Owens Kierans.
Oliver "Ollie" Kierans Jnr, son of Patricia and Oliver Kierans
Julie Kierans
Gerard Kierans

These were the chilling words of Oliver Kierans before brandishing a gun to a barmaid after he shot his wife dead.

The grandad then downed two pints in The Square Bar in Baileborough, Cavan on Thursday evening after Patricia (54) was left to die at their family home.

Kierans made his way to the pub after opening fire on his estranged wife leaving the barmaid to flee in terror after he displayed the shotgun.

The alarm was subsequently raised and gardai raced to the scene.

Kierans was arrested following a nine-hour armed stand-off at the pub.

Last night he was being treated at Cavan General Hospital where gardai are keeping a close watch.

The Kierans family - including the couple's four children - were last night attempting to come to terms with the tragedy.

Three of the Kierans's adult children have emigrated to Australia.

Their youngest son - Shane - was on a flight yesterday morning to join his siblings when the tragedy unfolded.

He was investigating how to bring his own wife Tracey and their children to join his siblings in Australia.

It is believed that Shane is now on his way back to Ireland.

Several local people spoke of how Oliver Kierans was regularly seen drinking all day long in the local pubs.

Patricia (54) would even bring him food from home and wait to give it to him.

She finally moved out of the family home in recent months to live with her sister Mairead in Cavan.

They spoke of Patricia's devotion to minding her grandchildren in the years she lived in the family home.

But, one by one, three of her four children moved to Australia.

Shane, their last son remaining in Ireland, had only left Ireland a day before his mother was slain.

Specialist garda negotiators, armed units and local gardai worked closely together before finally succeeded in coaxing Kierans out of the pub without a single shot being fired.

Unarmed gardai, pub patrons and staff had to flee the pub when Kierans first brandished the firearm.

But the gunman emerged from the rear of the pub as he gave himself up at 3.20am

Sources said the victim was shot in the body in an upstairs bedroom in the family home.

Garda press spokesman Supt David Taylor told a large group of journalists in the Market Square the top priority of the gardai during the armed siege was to avoid any loss of life.

He appealed for assistance from anyone who may have noticed anything at Drumbannon between 10 am and 7 pm on Thursday or any patrons of The Square bar between 4pm and 7 pm.

Supt Taylor thanked the people of Bailieborough who cooperated so closely with the garda operation that sealed off the town during the siege as well as the media for agreeing to a blackout of reporting during the siege.

A 79-year-old neighbour P.J. McCloskey was one of the last people to see Patricia alive. He spoke with her in Drumbannon within hours of her brutal slaying.

Mr McCloskey told The Herald: "She was in great form and was looking shocking well. She was very chatty... She was the nicest woman I ever saw.

"She had great patience. She put up with a lot."

As for Oliver Kierans, he said: "He was a hell of a nice fellow himself."

And a sister of Oliver Kierans spoke of the upset and grief of the families following the violent death of Patricia.

His sister Majella, although reluctant to comment, said of the couple: "They were just two people who shouldn't have been together."

She said their father Joseph was 79 years old had suffered a great deal of tragedy - he lost his wife and two daughters to cancer.

"That man did nothing only work. And he rang me last night and said to me: 'How are you.' I said: "Daddy I'm fine,'" she told the Herald.

"My dad - that is my priority now."

(Alan O'Keeffe and Ken Foy, The Herald)





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