herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

Man accused of wife's murder 'said a prayer over body'

Oliver Kierans (57)
Oliver Kierans (57)
Patricia and Oliver Kierans

The jury in the trial of a Cavan man accused of murdering his wife has heard that the accused said a prayer moments after his wife and mother of their four children was shot at the family home.

Patricia Kierans (54) was found dead by gardai in her home in Bailieborough, Cavan, on September 5, 2013.

Her husband Oliver Kierans (57), of Drumbannon Bailieborough in Cavan, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Mrs Kierans at the same address.

shotgun

He also pleaded not guilty to unlawful possession of a 12-gauge double-barrel shotgun and not guilty to possession of the same shotgun with intent to endanger life.

Taking to the stand, Detective Garda Jim Mathews confirmed with the prosecution that in garda interview, the accused said he was going to shoot himself.

When asked by gardai why the accused and his wife had gone to the second-floor bedroom of the family home on September 5, he replied: "I brought her up to show her I was going to do away with myself."

When asked where the gun had come from, he said: "I took it out to shoot myself."

The jury heard that while in the room the gun went off and the accused said there was "blood everywhere".

Detective Mathews confirmed that the accused told him: "The thing goes off and there was blood - a lot of blood." He then told gardai: "I said a prayer - I tried to close Pat's eyes but they wouldn't close."

When asked in interview if he had drink on him he replied: "I had surely drink on me."

He explained in a previous garda interview that he had the gun to shoot pheasants.

The court heard from Garda Cathal Buggy that on September 7, while he was accompanying the accused to the bathroom in Cavan General Hospital, he seemed distressed.

"He [Oliver Kierans] appeared quite distressed - he put his hands on his head and stated 'What have I done to my poor Pat? Why didn't I take myself?'"

The court heard that the accused had told him he had an argument with his wife, she had come towards him, the gun had gone off and she was dead on the floor.

argument

Gda Buggy confirmed that the accused had stated that the argument was over a ghost - someone he was having an affair with but that didn't exist.

The jury heard that the accused told Gda Buggy that when he went to the pub on September 5 he had hoped to finish things.

In cross-examination by Mr Anthony Sammon SC, Gda Buggy confirmed that he understood the accused to mean he would take his own life.

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

hnews@herald.ie

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