12 Aug 2022

Kilkenny murder trial: Accused confessed killing to teenagers

Kilkenny murder trial: Accused confessed killing to teenagers

John Joe Malone

A murder accused confessed killing a widowed pensioner to two teenagers during a church trip to Tramore, his cold-case trial has been told.

PJ Dooley was giving evidence to the Central Criminal Court this (Wednesday) morning in the trial of a 53-year-old man accused of murdering a woman in Kilkenny 30 years ago.

John Joseph Malone is charged with murdering 69-year-old Ann ‘Nancy’ Smyth on 11th September 1987 at her home on Wolfe Tone Street in the city. She was strangled before fire was set to her house.

Mr Malone of Newpark in Kilkenny City has pleaded not (NOT) guilty.

Mr Dooley testified that he was about 15 when he went on a long weekend to Tramore in 1988 or 1989. The trip was for members of Kilkenny Presbyterian Church, of which he was a member.

He shared a room with another teenager, Eoin Patterson. He recalled the accused, who was also a member of the church, coming to their window one night.

“He told us that he killed that lady,” he said. “He told us that he had broken into the house, she had woken up, came into the hall or something and he came across her. From what I remember, I think he said he strangled her and I think he said he strangled her in the hall.”

He said that Mr Malone also told them that he had set her house on fire.

“He was visibly upset. He was actually crying,” he said. “I remember telling him to go to the guards. I don’t know what a 15-year-old can tell a man that’s telling you that.”

He estimated that Mr Malone, who was older than them, was in their room for minutes.

“When someone tells you something like that, time just evaporates,” he explained.

The trial continues.

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