Ex-army man guilty of killing woman in bog

Jimmy Devaney (66) of Millbrook Avenue, Monksland, Athlone

Niamh O'Donoghue

A RETIRED army private has been acquitted of murdering a prostitute four years ago, but found guilty of her manslaughter.

Father-of-three Jimmy Devaney (67), of Millbrook Avenue, Monksland, Athlone had pleaded not guilty at the Central Criminal Court to murdering Marie Greene in Co Westmeath on February 13, 2011.

The jury returned a unanimous verdict of not guilty of murde, but guilty of manslaughter after deliberating for over four hours.

Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan adjourned sentencing until November 2 and remanded Devaney in custody.


The court heard Marie Greene, who was working as a prostitute, was last seen alive on the evening on February 13, 2011 and her body was discovered nine days later in Anagorta Bog outside Athlone.

State Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy said she had suffered six stab wounds to the torso and multiple incise wounds to the head and neck.

Prof Cassidy confirmed to Devaney's lawyer that some of the stab wounds could have been part of a continuous attack that continued after death.

It was the State's case that Devaney murdered Marie Greene because she had been blackmailing him for money or she would tell his wife.

Devaney told gardai that Ms Greene had produced the knife at the scene after taking it from his jeep. He claimed she had blackmailed him for 15 years and that he had given her up to €60,000 in the previous six months.

He told gardai that he met up with her at Anagorta Bog to talk to her, but he lost control during a struggle and "just kept stabbing" her.

The prosecution claimed Devaney planned the killing. State's counsel said he had arranged the meeting using a phone box instead of his usual mobile phone, and that he was quite in control as he disposed of the body and went to play poker with friends afterwards.

Ms Justice Heneghan had directed the jury that the defence of provocation could reduce murder to manslaughter even if there was intention to kill or cause serious harm.