Nash is chief suspect in two other murders
KILLER Mark Nash, given two life sentences last night for the brutal slaying of a young couple, is also the chief suspect in another horrific double murder.
While being questioned about the killings in Roscommon he admitted to the murder of two women living in sheltered accommodation attached to St Brendan's Hospital in Dublin's Grangegorman.
This confession led to the release of another young man charged with one of these murders. Nash later withdrew the confession in relation to the Grangegorman killings.
Yesterday a jury unanimously found the 25-year-old guilty of killing Carl and Catherine Doyle and of causing grievous bodily harm to Catherine's sister, his then girlfriend Sarah Jane Doyle at Ballintubber, Co Roscommon, in August last year.
Nash showed no emotion as he was given two life sentences for murder and another eight years for the attack on his former girlfriend. Both families expressed their relief last night but Mr Joe Doyle, Carl's father said: ``Unfortunately it won't bring Carl and Catherine back.''
He said the family was pleased with the way the case had gone. ``We just want to get on with our lives now. We have a lot on our minds and we're glad this is over,'' added Mr Doyle.
He said the family had tried to shield Carl and Catherine's four children from publicity about the trial. ``They know something is going on,'' he said.
Catherine's 16-year-old brother James wept as the case ended and he phoned his family from a public phone in the Four Courts to tell them of the guilty verdicts. He told reporters that his parents were distraught.
Describing Nash as ``evil not mad'', the teenager added; ``He has destroyed so many lives. My mother is in bits.''
Carl Doyle's two brothers were in court yesterday but the couple's parents had stayed away from the five-day trial where the bloody events of August 16 last were outlined in detail to the jury.
It took the jury over two-and-a-half hours to find Nash guilty of murdering Catherine Doyle who had been stabbed 16 times and of injuring her sister who had been bludgeoned about the head with a stove handle. Half-an-hour later they unanimously found Nash guilty of murdering Carl Doyle who was stabbed six times. The prosecution maintained that the young man was asleep when he was attacked with a knife, fragments of which were still in his tee-shirt when the bodies were discovered.
The defendant had claimed that Carl had ``playfully'' brandished the knife at him first.
Sarah Jane Doyle had told the court that she pretended to be dead after Nash beat her and pushed her down the stairs. She escaped after crawling on her hands and knees through long grass to a neighbour's house.
When the jury returned with two guilty verdicts there was loud applause in court but Mrs Justice Catherine McGuinness warned that she would not allow any more ``demonstrations of that sort''.
It will be up to the Director of Public Prosecutions to decide whether Nash will now be charged with killing Sylvia Shiels (59) and Mary Callinan(61) in Grangegorman in March last year.
He initially admitted to this double killing while being questioned by Gardai about the Co Roscommon case and his statement was so detailed that it led to an internal Garda investigation. A 24-year-old Dublin man, Dean Lyons from Tallaght, had been charged with one of these murders but the charge against him was subsequently dropped.