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Sunday 11 December 2016

Wife of garda 'disgusted and shocked' after stinking pig's head delivered in box to her home

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Natalie O'Neill at Ennis Court.
Natalie O'Neill at Ennis Court.

The wife of a serving garda told a court yesterday she was afraid, disgusted and horrified when she saw that a box delivered to her home contained a pig's head.

At Ennis Circuit Court yesterday, Natalie O'Neill said she was "completely in shock" after her husband, Gda Paul Heaslip, opened the box and peeled back tin foil to reveal the head.

The couple made the discovery on January 31, 2012 at their home on the Percy French estate in Kilkee, Co Clare.

The box was posted from Prussia Street Post Office in Dublin five days before on January 26, and Ms O'Neill (inset) said she noticed first "a very pungent odour from the box".

Brendan Mahoney (48), of Cabra Park, Dublin 7, denies sending the pig's head to Gda Heaslip.

In his evidence, the officer said that his landlord, David McNamara, who was also his postman, had told him on January 30 that there was a box waiting for him at his home.

Gda Heaslip and Ms O'Neill were away at the time and returned home the following day.

The officer said he was "in complete shock" after discovering the pig's head in the box.

"It was just distressing. The fact that it was sent to my house - it gave me a disgusted feeling in my stomach," he said.

Gda Heaslip said he informed local gardai, and Sgt Ronan O'Hara, Det Gda Ollie Downes and scenes of crime specialist Gda Niall Kampff arrived.

Gda Heaslip disposed of the pig's head later that day at a bio-hazard waste site in Kilkee.

Counsel for the accused, Breffni Gordon, said the box was also destroyed.

"The judge and the jury will never see the box because all that remains is a photo," he said.

Photos of the pig's head were circulated to the jury yesterday.

Gda Heaslip said he only disposed of the pig's head after discussing the matter with Gda Kampff and making sure he had got all of the evidence from it.

Supt Gerry Wall, who was stationed in Kilrush at the time, told the court he took a "most serious view" of one of his officers receiving a pig's head.

He said he asked a colleague in Dublin to go to Prussia Street post office and download the CCTV footage.

The trial continued yesterday in legal argument in the absence of the jury. It will resume today before the jury of seven men and five women.

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