Tuesday 20 February 2018

Unemployed man charged with quadruple murder

Barry Duggan in Newcastle West

AN unemployed steel fabricator was brought under armed escort to court yesterday where he was charged with the murder of his baby daughter, his ex-partner, her infant son and another woman.

John Geary, 31, with an address at 31 Meadowcourt, Newcastle West, Co Limerick, remained silent at a special sitting of the town's District Court yesterday afternoon.

More than 300 people gathered outside the court on Bishop Street hoping to catch a glimpse of the alleged quadruple murderer.

With his right arm in a cast and sling, Mr Geary -- originally from Milford, Co Cork -- remained silent throughout the brief hearing in front of Judge Mary O'Halloran.

Four Newcastle West based garda officers -- Sergeant John Flanagan, Garda Dave Gee, Sergeant Alberta McWalter and Garda Jeremiah O'Sullivan -- gave evidence of arresting, charging and cautioning Mr Geary on Friday night at Henry Street garda station in Limerick in relation to each of the four murder charges.

He made no reply when charged with the murders of former partner Sarah Hines, 25; their daughter Amy, five months; Ms Hines' son Reece, 3; and Alicia Brough, 20, at 18 Hazelgrove, Gortboy, Newcastle West last Monday.

Up to 50 guards, including members of the Regional Response Unit, were on patrol around the perimeter of the building during the sitting.

Wearing a black hoodie and tracksuit bottoms, Mr Geary sat between two gardai with his head bowed throughout the hearing.

Another four officers were positioned between him and members of the victim's families.

Limerick based solicitor, John Herbert, asked to be assigned to represent the accused man.

Garda Superintendent Dan Flavin requested that the 31-year-old be held in custody to Rathkeale District Court -- which will sit in Newcastle West -- this week.

Judge O'Halloran remanded Mr Geary in custody to appear in the same courthouse again this Friday at 11am.

The judge also directed that Mr Geary receive appropriate medical assistance while in custody.

The eldest brother of Sarah Hines, Chris, was visibly upset after the hearing and was consoled by family members. Christopher Hines senior -- Sarah's father and grandfather to Reece and Amy -- was also in attendance.

The accused was brought by armed escort to prison passing close by the house at Hazelgrove where the two women and two children were murdered on Monday.

Sunday Independent

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