Son charged with murder of his mother, Miriam Burns, in Kerry

Billy Burns, of no fixed abode, has appeared at Killarney District Court, charged with the murder of his mother.


A man has been charged with the murder of his mother in Killarney last August.

Billy Burns (52), of no fixed abode, has appeared before Killarney District Court this afternoon, Tuesday, March 7, after he was arrested  by gardaí in Tralee shortly before lunch on Tuesday.

Mr Burns was charged with a single count of the murder of his mother, Miriam Burns (75), seven months ago. The mother and grandmother was found dead at her home in Ardshanavooley estate in Killarney on August 15 last.

Detective Sergeant Michael Quirke gave the court evidence of Mr Burn's arrest, caution and charge.

He told Judge David Waters that, when the charge was formally put to the defendant at Killarney Garda Station, Mr Burns replied: "No comment."

Because the charge involved is murder, bail can only be dealt with by the High Court.

Defence solicitor Padraig O'Connell asked that his client be given any medical attention required while in custody.

The defence has reserved its position in respect of a future bail application. Free legal aid was granted.

The hearing lasted less than three minutes.

The grandmother – who was known as ‘Killarney's smiling lady’ because of her cheerful disposition – was found dead in the sitting room of her home.

She was well-known in Killarney for her kindness and generosity, as well as her preference for cycling around the town.

Mrs Burns was discovered last August when a relative, who is based overseas, became concerned at his inability to contact her over the weekend of August 13 and 14. The man rang an Ardshanavooley neighbour, and he went with another neighbour to check on her welfare.

Both were shocked to see Mrs Burns lying lifeless in the front room, and they immediately left the property and contacted the gardaí and paramedics. Mrs Burns was pronounced dead at the scene.

Her death was immediately treated as suspicious. Gardaí sealed off the property, and Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margot Bolster conducted a post-mortem examination at University Hospital Kerry (UHK) in Tralee.

A murder investigation was launched within minutes of the post-mortem examination being concluded and, in the meantime, gardaí have continued to investigate the Kerry murder.

Judge Waters remanded Mr Burns in custody to appear again before Tralee District Court by video link on Wednesday (March 8).