Wednesday 24 January 2018

Murder-suicide widow denies row over land sparked shooting

Suzanne Pender

THE woman who lost her husband and her brother in an apparent murder-suicide last week has denied that a feud over land caused the dispute.

Hilda Jordan buried her husband Michael and her brother George Rothwell within hours of each other on Monday, following the double tragedy in Carlow.

"It's impossible to know what happened, we'll probably never know... it's one of those cases," Mrs Jordan said.

"Something happened to Michael and I don't know ... . we probably never will," she added.

Gardai believe Mr Jordan (63) shot Mr Rothwell (68) up to four times, killing him, before walking to a shed at the back of his own farm and hanging himself. However, Mrs Jordan rejected suggestions that a feud over land had led to the violent dispute.

"There was definitely no row about land, in fact Michael was winding down on work," Mrs Jordan said.

"He had sold ewes in lamb at Tullow Mart recently and was even thinking of selling more to cut back on the workload. He was thinking of setting a field, ploughing a field and of planting a field ... sheep are a young man's game and he wasn't able to continue with no help and we have no family.

"There was definitely no row between them over land.


"Farming at Ballycormac was between myself and George and Michael had his land to farm at Glenaharry, but he would always be there helping George.

"We all worked in harmony together ... .never once was there a cross word between Michael and George," she said.

She also said that religion had not been an issue. The Jordans are Catholic, while the Rothwells are Church of Ireland.

"George was always a friend to Michael and a great help to Michael in every way and Michael to George," she said.

"They knew each other before I started going out with Michael," she added.

"Myself and Michael were going out together for a long time before we got married. We were married 20 years ago on December 14 last year," said Mrs Jordan.

She described her husband as "a very quiet, modest man" but added he was a worrier.

"Michael was a worrier. There are lots of stresses and strains in farming nowadays and very draconian rules and regulations.

"Michael would take those things very seriously," she said.

She described her only brother as "more laid back", and remembered his twin loves of horses and music.

Irish Independent

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