herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Dad of four in pub siege after shooting wife dead, court told

A father of four told a barman there would be "big news in the town" moments before he staged a siege at a pub, the same day he allegedly shot his wife, a court has heard.

Oliver Kierans (57), of Drumbannon, Bailieboro, Co Cavan, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Patricia Kierans on September 5, 2013 at the same address.

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

Michael O'Higgins, prosecuting, opened the trial yesterday at the Central Criminal Court where he told the jury the accused had been married to Patricia Kierans for more than 33 years but that on the date of the alleged incident they had been living apart.

He said Mrs Kierans had moved out of the family home to live with her sister and had started a relationship with another individual.

The court heard this did not sit well with the accused, who had recently begun drinking again after abstaining for the summer.

"On the morning of the alleged murder, Patricia Kierans returned to Bailieboro to carry out various chores. Oliver Kierans was out and about quite early that morning," Mr O'Higgins said. "There was reference made to him buying some spirits that day."

coerced

The jury heard the accused parked his vehicle in a car park at around 10am and that Mrs Kierans' vehicle was in the same car park.

"Oliver approached her and the two got into his car and drove a short distance to the family home. You will hear in evidence that Patricia was coerced into going to the house," said Mr O'Higgins.

"When they got to the house Patricia went to a shed and that was the last sighting of Patricia Kierans alive."

Mrs Kierans later returned to the house. She and Mr Kierans went to an upstairs bedroom, Mr O'Higgins said, and Mrs Kierans was shot with a shotgun at quite close range, sustaining a very serious wound to her chest from which she died.

The court heard that, afterwards, Mr Kierans went to The Square bar, which was a short distance away from the family home.

He allegedly told a barman "there is going to be big news in the town".

He is then said to have gone to the basement of the public house where he was found by gardai with a sawn-off shotgun sitting in front of him.

accidental

Mr O'Higgins said a siege then took place and Mr Kierans eventually exited the premises late at night.

He said it is not an issue in this case that the accused discharged the shot that fatally injured Mrs Kierans, but the way it happened, with the accused telling gardai in interview that it was accidental.

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

hnews@herald.ie

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