Harrowing evidence at Central Criminal Court at murder trial of Kilkenny grandmother

Mary Cody

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Mary Cody

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mary.cody@kilkennypeople.ie

Harrowing evidence at Central Criminal Court at murder trial of Kilkenny grandmother

Central Criminal Court

A woman accused of impeding the investigation into her mother's alleged murder told gardai that the retired hospital worker would tell her and her daughter every day that they should have been "aborted". 

Mother-of-five Louise O'Connor also told interviewing detectives that she did not "harm a hair" on Patricia O'Connor's head and said she would go to her grave knowing that.The accused woman also told gardai that despite everything, she really loved her mother.

The jury was listening to three interviews given by the daughter of the deceased, Louise O'Connor, to gardai on September 2, 2017. 

The deceased's daughter Louise O'Connor (41) and granddaughter Stephanie O'Connor (22), both of Millmount Court, Dundrum Road, Dublin 14, and Louise O'Connor's ex-partner Keith Johnston (43), of Avonbeg Gardens, Tallaght, Dublin 24 are all charged with impeding the apprehension or prosecution of Kieran Greene, knowing or believing him to have committed an arrestable offence, to wit the murder of Patricia O'Connor (61) on May 29, 2017.

Louise O'Connor has pleaded not guilty to agreeing to or acquiescing in her daughter Stephanie O'Connor disguising herself as Patricia O'Connor at Mountainview Park, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14 on May 29, 2017 in order to conceal the fact that Patricia O'Connor was dead. 

Mr Greene (34) has pleaded not guilty to murdering Mrs O'Connor at her home in Mountainview Park, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14 on May 29, 2017.

Evidence has been given that the body of Mrs O’Connor was dismembered into 15 separate parts that were found at nine different locations over a 30km range in the Dublin and Wicklow mountains between June 10 and 14, 2017. 

Sergeant Brian Hanley told prosecution counsel Roisin Lacey SC that he conducted the first interview with Louise O'Connor at Bray Garda Station on September 2, 2017. Sgt Hanley said Louise O’Connor had been arrested on suspicion of murdering her mother Patricia O’Connor at her home on May 29.

In her first interview, Louise O’Connor told gardai that she did not really understand why she was being arrested saying: “You have someone for murder, he put his hands up." Her partner and father of three of her five children, Kieran Greene, had already been arrested for murdering Mrs O'Connor. 

Louise O'Connor said her mother would tell her and her daughter Stephanie every day that they should have been “aborted” and they were constantly walking on eggshells around her. 

Her mother and the family would fight over “silly things” like "bricks and mortar", she said. 

Louise O'Connor said her father Augustine 'Gus' O'Connor had never raised a finger to her mother. “My ma tried to beat the head off me with a teapot the day she left. I ducked and ran out of the sitting room,” she continued.

She said Mrs O’Connor “kicked the cat” around the house and would tell her and her children that they were retarded and to get out of the house.

Louise O’Connor said she was diagnosed with Graves’ disease four or five years previously. “Ma said I could use graves rage to kill my father and we’d split the proceeds. I said no way, I’m not going to prison,” she explained. 

She said Mr Greene “got it” from her mother as well. “I said he had to go back to his ma’s to give us a break. He bounced off me and I bounced off him,” she remarked.

Louise O’Connor said she went with her children and her dad to Nutgrove Park on May 29 as she did not want to fight with her mother. She couldn’t say what time they all got home but was in the toilet when she heard the door slam and her mother leaving the house, she outlined. 

“She [Patricia O’Connor] was always getting up and going off, she was shouting ‘I’ll be back when the bastard pops his clogs’,” Louise O'Connor explained, adding she “hadn’t a clue” where her mother was going to. 

She said she did not call after her mother when she saw her going up the road that night carrying a suitcase. Louise O'Connor said she was asleep when her mother came back to the house later that night. Two weeks later, she said they found out Mr Greene had killed her mother.

Referring to Mr Greene, Louise O’Connor said he had “put his hands up for what he had done”. She also told gardai that her father Gus would not hurt a fly.

“It’s nothing to do with me and Stephanie, why you asking me,” she told gardai. “Only two people who know what happened that day, me ma and Kieran. Me ma is dead and Kieran is locked up,” she said.

Louise O'Connor said she could not understand why Mr Greene did not call an ambulance or gardai that night. She also told detectives that she did not harm a hair on her mother’s head and she would go to her grave knowing that.    

When gardai asked Louise O’Connor if her mother smoked, she replied: “My ma lashed the weed out of it all day.” She said she started to get worried about her mother when there was no contact from her.

Giving evidence this afternoon, Detective Garda David Connolly told Ms Lacey that he went to Mountainview Park on June 12 at 7.50pm, after Mr Greene had presented himself at Rathfarnham Garda Station and was being interviewed by Sergeant Lucy Myles. 

The witness said he met Louise O'Connor outside the house and she was talking to her next door neighbour. "She was crying and had her hands up to face, she was upset," he said, adding that Louise O'Connor had also told him that Mr Greene had not been himself for the last number of weeks. "She also told us that Mr Greene had told them that he had killed Mrs O'Connor and disposed of her body in the mountains," he said. 

Det Gda Connolly said he conducted a second interview with Louise O'Connor on September 2, 2017. She told gardai that Mr Greene had not followed them to the park on the evening of May 29 as he wanted to have a shower. "There are nine people in the house, getting a shower is like a miracle," she remarked. 

She said her mother was upstairs and shouting as the cat was on her bed. "I got the kids and went out and my dad got the dog and went out," she said. 

Mr Greene said he would follow them later and did  not know why he had not followed, she said. When she tried to call Mr Greene's phone, it went straight to his voicemail, she said, adding that he then sent her a text message to get lunch for the children.

When Louise O'Connor and the children returned, Mr Greene told her that Mrs O'Connor was "pissed off" because she had walked in on him having a shower, she continued. 

Det Sgt Hanley testified that he conducted the third interview with Louise O'Connor on the evening of September 2 at 8.30pm, during which she was shown CCTV footage of people entering and leaving the house at Mountainview Park on May 29. 

The jurors were also shown the same clips, which had been played for Louise O'Connor by gardai during her detention at Bray Garda Station. 

Mrs O'Connor said she was aware her next door neighbour had a camera at the front of his house. A neighbour of the O'Connor family, Sam Lin, has testified that he consented to gardai taking possession of his CCTV system on June 14, 2017. 

During this interview, Louise O'Connor was shown CCTV footage from her neighbour's camera of herself and the children leaving Mountainview and going to the park at 6.53pm. 

Louise O'Connor told gardai that a clip from CCTV footage at 9.04pm on the same date showed herself and the children returning from Tesco. 

Louise O'Connor was shown another clip from her neighbour's camera at 9.34pm on May 29 and said it looked like her mother walking out of the house. She told gardai that she thought she had followed her mother out of the house after hearing the door slam and saw her mother going down the road. 

At one point during the interview, Louise O'Connor told gardai that despite everything she really loved her mother. 

She said she did not contact anyone on the night of May 29 to find out where her mother was as she was more annoyed than worried. She began asking people about Mrs O'Connor's whereabouts the following day, she continued, adding that it was not unusual for her mother to storm off. 

Louise O'Connor was then shown clips from her neighbour's CCTV camera, which showed the rear of the O'Connor's house. “My neighbour is videoing into my house,” she said. “Nice. Is that not against the law, recording into our house? Invasion of privacy or something? F**king disgraceful," she continued. 

Louise O'Connor was also shown a clip of CCTV footage taken at the rear of the house at 6.37pm on May 29 and asked by gardai to comment on it. "That's me ma opening and closing the door I think," she replied. 

Louise O'Connor agreed with gardai that someone could be seen closing a door at 10.06pm that night. She said she did not know who this was and commented that she did not see how this was important. "Does it really matter who closed the back door," she told gardai. 

Gardai put it to Louise O'Connor that either she, her daughter Stephanie or Mr Greene had closed the back door at this time. She said it could have been any of them but she did not remember anyone doing it. She agreed with gardai that the person was carrying something with black on it and said it could have been a beach bag but she could not see. "I think you're expecting me to be a miracle worker and see things I cannot see," remarked Louise O'Connor. 

The Central Criminal Court trial has heard that while in custody, Mr Greene changed his account of killing and dismembering his partner's mother, six months after he was charged with her murder. 
 The jury has heard that Mr Greene walked into Rathfarnham Garda Station on June 12, 2017 and told a detective that he had done "something terrible" and dismembered the body of Mrs O'Connor on his own. However, the accused man told gardai on December 9 that he had taken “the rap” and felt he was being set-up, as his girlfriend Louise O'Connor subsequently started going back out with her ex-boyfriend Keith Johnston. 

Mr Johnston has pleaded not guilty to assisting Mr Greene in the purchase of various implements at Woodie's, Mr Price, B&Q and Shoe Zone, Tallaght, Dublin 24 on June 9, 2017, which were to be used in the concealment of the remains of Mrs O'Connor. 

Mr Johnston also denies engaging in the refurbishment of a bathroom at Mountainview Park, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14 between May 31, 2017 and June 9, 2017, in order to destroy or conceal any evidence relating to the murder of Mrs O'Connor. 

Stephanie O'Connor has pleaded not (NOT) guilty to disguising herself as Mrs O'Connor at Mountainview Park, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14 at a point in time after her murder on May 29, 2017 in order to conceal the fact that she was already dead. 

The trial continues tomorrow before Mr Justice Paul McDermott and a jury of six men and six women.