herald

Monday 11 December 2017

I wanted to end my life, says husband accused of murder

Oliver Kierans
Oliver Kierans

The jury in a murder trial has heard that the last words a man said to his wife before shooting her were: "The children will come home and bring you back to Australia."

Oliver Kierans (57), of Drumbannon, Bailieboro, Co Cavan, denies murdering Patricia Kierans on September 5, 2013, at the same address. He also pleaded not guilty to unlawful possession of a shotgun and to intent to endanger life.

Mr Kierans told Anthony Sammon, defending, that three of the couple's children have moved to Australia and so had six of their 10 grandchildren.

When asked about "difficulties" in his relationship with Patricia, he said she had a "fixation" he was having an affair.

When questioned about shortening the barrels of a shotgun, he said he did it because his only child who had remained in Ireland was moving to Australia.

"They were all gone and I just wanted to end my life," he said.

The accused told the jury that on September 5, 2013, when he got to the family home with Patricia, she had gone upstairs to pick up clothes for her brother.

"I went to the kitchen to put the kettle on and Pat went up the stairs to see what clothes belonged to Brendan," he said.

"The curtains were closed and the room was in darkness. I opened the curtains and she saw the gun and said, 'What's that doing there'?"

"I said, 'I'm gonna prove to you I'm having no affair - the children will come home and bring you back to Australia'.

jealous

"I intended to kill myself. I went to lift the gun. She said, 'No, I believe ya - don't', and the yoke hit the top of my hand.

"I picked the gun up and put another cartridge in. I was going to finish it all off. I would have to give them [the children] an answer why mam's dead."

Under cross-examination by Michael O'Higgins, prosecuting, Mr Kierans was asked if the shooting of his wife had anything to do with her thinking he had an affair.

"No. I explained, it was an accident," he said.

When asked in court why he had gone back on the drink after abstaining for the summer, he said it was because his son Shane was going to Australia.

Asked if he had been jealous by the thought of Patricia with someone else, he replied: "No."

Mr O'Higgins asked the accused why he did not ring for an ambulance after the shooting.

"I was in a state of shock. I gave an act of contrition. I can't recall hours after that," he said.

The trial continues before Ms Justice Aileen Donnelly and a jury of five women and seven men.

hnews@herald.ie

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