Sunday 22 July 2018

Murderer found holed up in caravan in small rural community

  • Convicted murderer from UK living among small rural community
  • UK police had sent out international appeal for help in tracking down missing murderer
  • Man had been living in a caravan for several months - and a tent before this
  • 'I just thought that he was only an odd sort of fella' - says one local
The road to the West Cork town of Eyeries (Photo: Google Maps)
The road to the West Cork town of Eyeries (Photo: Google Maps)

Tom Brady, Ralph Riegel and Ryan Nugent

A convicted murderer from the UK was living among a small rural community in one of Ireland's most picturesque villages for months before being picked up by gardaí for breaking his parole.

Officers from the Garda extradition section arrested the 65-year-old convicted murderer who went missing after breaking the conditions of his parole.

He had been convicted of a murder in the early 1970s.

The man was nearing the end of his sentence when he was granted parole by the UK authorities.

Under the terms of his early release he was required not to leave the UK and to liaise with probation services. However, it is understood he left the UK a number of years ago.

UK police sent out an international appeal for help in tracking down the missing murderer.

Gardaí were alerted last week to his whereabouts here and sought an extradition warrant from the UK authorities.

Two officers from the force's extradition section at Garda headquarters in the Phoenix Park were sent from Dublin to the Beara Peninsula in west Cork.

Backed up by officers from the Cork West division, the officers swooped on a caravan where the man had been holed up outside Eyeries and served the warrant.

It is understood that the man had been living in the caravan for several months.

He had been living in a tent in the area prior to this, according to locals.

Officers escorted the man back to Dublin and he appeared on the extradition warrant before Dublin District Court last Thursday.

If the man does not object to being returned to the UK, he could leave Ireland within days.

Gardaí declined to confirm the man's identity, although it is believed he was wanted by Yorkshire police in relation to the parole breach.

"There was a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) executed in west Cork for a murder that occurred outside our jurisdiction," a spokesperson said.

Locals had simply regarded the man as a recluse given his preference for keeping to himself, wearing black clothing and only associating with locals when he went for a few drinks to a local pub.

He was also known to visit the Fisherman's Co-op in Castletownbere from time to time to buy fresh produce.

He is understood to have been considered an eccentric and the west Cork area is traditionally popular with people who want to "get away from it all", said locals.

Residents of Eyeries admitted they were deeply shocked by the dramatic turn of events last week.

"I just thought that he was only an odd sort of fella," one local said.

"He kept to himself and you'd only see him out at the shops of maybe going for a drink locally.

"You'd see a few foreign people around here who seem to want to get away from it all.

"But we were shocked over the weekend when the word spread that this fella was a convicted English murderer."

Eyeries is a small village on the ring of the Beara Peninsula and one of the most picturesque and colourful parts of west Cork.

It overlooks Coulagh Bay on the Cork coastline.

The village is famous for being the location for the Fred Astaire movie, 'The Purple Taxi'.

The film was shot in the village in 1977.

Irish Independent

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