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Accused told Gardai her daughter 'didn't dress up as my ma', trial hears

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Stephanie O'Connor, Keith Johnston and Louise O'Connor are all accused of impeding the investigation into the death of grandmother-of-seven Patricia O'Connor. They all deny the charges against them.

Stephanie O'Connor, Keith Johnston and Louise O'Connor are all accused of impeding the investigation into the death of grandmother-of-seven Patricia O'Connor. They all deny the charges against them.

Patricia O'Connor

Patricia O'Connor

Stephanie O'Connor, Keith Johnston and Louise O'Connor are all accused of impeding the investigation into the death of grandmother-of-seven Patricia O'Connor. They all deny the charges against them.

Patricia O'Connor's daughter denied that her account of what happened on the night her mother was allegedly murdered was a "web of lies", a jury has heard.

Louise O'Connor told gardai she never saw her mother's dead body wrapped in blankets at her house, and her daughter Stephanie "didn't dress up as my ma" to pretend she was still alive.

She was being interviewed after she was arrested on suspicion of murdering her mother.

Four people are on trial at the Central Criminal Court over Patricia O'Connor's death in 2017.

Louise O'Connor's then-partner Kieran Greene (34) is charged with murder, while Louise (41), her daughter Stephanie O'Connor (22) and Louise's ex-partner Keith Johnston (43) are accused of impeding the investigation.

They all deny the charges.

Disguising

Patricia O'Connor (61), a grandmother-of-seven, was allegedly murdered on May 29, 2017, at the house at Mountain View Park, Rathfarnham, she shared with family, including her daughter, granddaughter Stephanie and Mr Greene.

Her remains were found scattered in the Dublin and Wicklow mountains between June 10 and 14 that year.

Stephanie O'Connor is accused of disguising herself as her grandmother on May 29 to pretend she was still alive, while her mother Louise allegedly agreed to this.

Gardai showed Louise O'Connor CCTV footage from outside her house on May 29 as they interviewed her on September 2 and 3. She said this showed her mother leaving with a suitcase at 9.34pm after a row.

She, her daughter, Mr Greene and the children were in the house that evening and went to bed after her mother left. Her father, Gus O'Connor, came home at 10.23pm.

However, a person was seen coming in the back door at 10.05pm carrying a bag and Ms O'Connor did not know who this was.

"Houdini or someone. I don't know who they are, I see a big splodge," she said.

She agreed a black suitcase found by gardai in the house was "identical" to the one seen at 9.34pm but "maybe it was one of a set".

Gardai put it to her that the person leaving the house was her daughter Stephanie wearing Patricia's jacket.

"That is not Stephanie. That's ridiculous. That's my ma," she said.

When it was put to her the person was not wearing a dress, she said "she obviously got changed". She was asked why they had a hood up when it was not raining.

"I don't know why...maybe they have sore ears," she said.

She was shown fabric found in the shallow grave in Wexford where her mother was initially buried and was asked if it was her mother's dress. She said it looked like it.

Earlier, Patricia was seen coming in the back door at 6.35pm and a person was seen closing the curtains at the back of the house at 6.52pm. Louise agreed this was Mr Greene.

A clip from the front of the house showed Louise and the children leaving to go to the park at 6.53pm. Gardai were suspicious that "something happened".

She was asked if her mother was dead when she returned.

"How could a dead woman walk out?" she said.

Gardai asked if Mr Greene "managed to do this in secret?"

"What, kill me ma? Yeah," she replied. "He's a f**king nut."

It was put to her it looked like Mr Greene was talking to someone in the house at 6.18am after he came back from burying her mother in Wexford. Louise said she did not know, and "he's probably gone doolally".

She went to the park "to get peace from my mam," she said, but denied it was "permanent peace" and "my mam was alive when we walked out".

She said Stephanie was in the sitting room when Patricia walked out.

Louise denied discussing killing her mother with Mr Greene, Stephanie or her father.

She said again she did not know what happened until two weeks later.

"That is a web of lies for you and your family," a garda put to her. She said: "I know what I seen and heard. Stephanie didn't dress up as my ma."

The trial continues.