83 year old widower Edward (Eddie) Fitzmaurice had lived and worked in the small town of Bellaghy, Charlestown, Co. Mayo for over 40 years before he was assaulted and left to die by unknown assailants over the 1998 May Bank Holiday. Despite numerous appeals for information, 23 years have now passed but his murder remains unsolved.
Eddie was living alone in an apartment above his drapery shop at the time of his murder. He was described as a quiet but popular member of the Bellaghy community. His wife, Rita, had died a number of years earlier, and 3 of his 4 children were living in Britain.
It is believed Eddie was bound, gagged and assaulted at some point between 8.20pm on Friday, 1st May and Saturday morning, 2nd May. Sadly, his body lay undiscovered until a neighbour gained access to the apartment at 6.45pm on 5th May 1998.
Gardaí believe Eddie was assaulted in an attempt to rob him of £13,000 (about €16500) in life savings. His assailants tied him to a chair and, while attempting to free himself, he fell to the floor where he eventually succumbed to hypothermia.
In 2005, 7 people were arrested in connection with Eddie’s murder. Gardaí did not reveal any details about their identities and no charges were ever brought.
This is still an active case and Crimestoppers have offered a reward for information leading to the identification and prosecution of the perpetrators. Anyone with information can contact the Serious Crime Review Team using the below details.
Malawi native, Paiche Onyemaechi (nee Unyolo) was a 25 year old mother of two, and the daughter of the then-Malawian chief justice, when she was murdered in 2004. As the 16th anniversary of her murder recently passed, the case remains open and no one has been charged.
Paiche originally left Malawi in the 1990s to complete a business administration course in London, but moved to Ireland in 1999 with her Nigerian-born husband, Chika (sometimes spelt Chicka). She had been working in Limerick before moving to Waterford in May 2001 with her husband and two young sons. She was reported missing by her husband on the 10th July 2004 who stated that she left their home in Herblain Park, Waterford on the 8th of July and had not returned.
Gardaí have confirmed that the last sighting of Paiche was at 5pm on the 8th July at Pickardstown, Co. Waterford. Pickardstown is a rural location just outside the seaside town of Tramore and is located about 7.5km south of Paiche’s home.
Two weeks after she went missing, Paiche’s decapitated body was discovered wrapped in plastic on ground beside the River Pil about 5km outside Piltown, Co. Kilkenny on the road to Templeorum. Her head has never been recovered and Gardaí believe it may have been taken as a trophy by her killer. Piltown is located about 30km north-west of Paiche’s home in Waterford. Gardaí are satisfied that Paiche was not murdered at this location and are seeking information in relation to the scene of her murder.
Paiche’s husband did not attend her funeral and indications are that he has not been seen since her body was identified. Gardaí have stated that they are concerned for his safety and would like to speak to him. Arrangements were made for Paiche’s sons to return to Malawi to live with Paiche’s father.
In August 2004 two men were arrested in Dublin in connection with Paiche’s murder. Newspapers from the time reported that the men were believed to be Nigerian nationals and one of them was believed to be related to Paiche’s husband. The men were released without charge and a file was prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions. In 2005 Gardaí were reported as saying charges in the case were imminent. However no one was ever formally prosecuted for Paiche’s murder.
Also in 2004 an anonymous letter was sent to Gardaí which contained information on the ‘culprits’. Gardaí have appealed for the letter writer to come forward and also issued a general appeal for information in 2015, particularly from those in the African community in Waterford. Despite the appeal, Paiche’s case remains open.
Anyone with information can contact Kilkenny Garda Station on 056 77 75000, or Crimestoppers on 1800 250 025.
On the evening of 23rd December 1991, Patricia Doherty left her home in Tallaght, Dublin to do some last minute Christmas shopping. The following June, her body was found buried in a bog in the Dublin Mountains. No one has ever been arrested for her murder and, 28 years later, her murder remains unsolved.
Originally from Kerry, Patricia was living in Allenton Lawns in Tallaght with her husband and two children when she disappeared. She left her home on the evening of the 23rd December to travel to the nearby Square Shopping Centre, located about 3km from her home, to buy Santa hats for her children. This is the last time she was seen alive.
Her husband reported her missing to Gardaí on Christmas Day. Patricia worked as a prison officer in Mountjoy Prison and her husband thought she had gone to work when he did see her on Christmas Eve. The alarm was only raised that evening when Patricia did not arrive at her mother’s house as they had previously arranged.
It was only by chance that Patricia’s body was found on the 21st June, 1992. A period of dry weather caused the peat bank, exposing her shallow grave off the Kilakee Road in the Dublin Mountains. Patricia had been strangled and raped. She was identified by dental records and the rings she was wearing. Her house key was found nearby and she was still wearing her coat. Gardaí believe she was buried around the time she went missing in December of the previous year.
Gardaí have never publicly named a suspect or given any indication of a motive for her murder.
Patricia’s body was found less then a mile away from where Antoinette Smith’s body was discovered buried 4 years earlier. Antoinette’s murderer has also never been arrested. I will cover Antoinette’s case in more detail in a later blog post, but it’s hard not to wonder if these two cases are related. Gardaí have never made any comment about a link between the two cases but considering the two women were a similar age, looked similar, were both strangled and were discovered buried extremely close to each other it would feel like a strange coincidence if they were not related.
One source has floated the idea that Graham Dwyer may have been involved with Patricia’s murder. In 2015, Dwyer was found guilty of the murder of Elaine O’Hara whose body was found near Kilakee in the Dublin Mountains in 2013. Elaine went missing in August of 2012. Originally from Cork, Dwyer moved to Dublin in the early 1990’s and would have been 19 at the time of Patricia’s murder. However, Dwyer seemed fascinated with stabbing a woman to death which does not match the cause of death in Patricia’s murder. Also, if Patricia’s murder is linked to the murder of Antoinette Smith, this would rule out Dwyer as a suspect as Antoinette was murdered before he moved to Dublin.
Another possible theory is that Patricia encountered or crossed someone in her job as a prison officer. However, she had only worked in Mountjoy Prison for 6 months before her disappearance. Before this she trained in Portlaoise Prison so she could possibly have crossed someone there but surely some evidence of this would have been found.
If you have any information relating to the murder of Patricia Doherty please contact the Serious Crime Review Team using the below contact details.
Marie Kilmartin disappeared from Portlaoise in December of 1993. There are conflicting reports regarding the exact date of her disappearance, with different sources listing the 15th, 16th or 17th December. She was missing for 6 months before her body was found in a bog on the Laois/Offaly border. She had been strangled. Although Gardaí have made a number of arrests, her killer has still not been charged.
Marie was originally from Balinasloe, Co. Galway but was living in Beladd on the Stradbally Road in Portlaoise. When she was about 20 years old, she gave birth to a daughter who was adopted by Marie’s family members. Her daughter, Áine, was 13 when Marie disappeared but did not discover she was adopted until she was 20. She even attended Marie’s funeral after her mother’s body was discovered, but remained unaware of her true relationship to Marie until years later.
Marie worked in a nearby old people’s home and, on the day of her disappearance, she had attended a Christmas Party at the home. She returned to her own home after the party and had plans to meet a friend around 6pm that evening. When the friend came to Marie’s house that evening she saw Marie’s shopping on a chair on the kitchen but Marie was not at home.
Neighbours reported that Marie had been very upset after speaking to someone on the phone on the day before she disappeared. Following investigations, Gardaí confirmed that the call was made to Marie around 4.3opm from a public phone box on the Dublin Road in Portlaoise. The call lasted about 2 and a half minutes. No other calls were made from the phone box for 20 minutes before and 10 minutes after the call to Marie.
Marie’s number was ex-directory which leads Gardaí to believe she knew the caller. A witness who was in the area at the time remembered seeing a man in the phone box who she described as 5’8″ tall and about 30 years old. Despite numerous appeals, this man has never come forward and has never been identified.
No trace of Marie was found for many months until a prison officer who was cutting turf happened upon her body. It was extremely lucky that Marie’s body was found as her body was weighed down by a six inch concrete block on her chest, and a pram and parts of a gas heater were also used to conceal her body. Water levels in the bog had recently dropped, allowing her body to be discovered. She was fully dressed in the clothing she had been wearing at the Christmas party on the day she disappeared.
A postmortem revealed she had been strangled and there was no evidence of sexual assault.
Two men were questioned in June, 1994 but were released without charge. In 2008, Gardaí arrested two men and a woman, aged in their 40s and 60s, in connection with Marie’s murder. They were questioned for 24 hours each before being released without charge.
In August 2019, at the Central Criminal Court, a detective made an application to transfer six interviews Gardaí conducted with the chief suspect in the case from VCR to DVD. The application was approved.
It is now expected that Marie’s murder will be investigated by the Gardaí’s serious crime review team.
Anybody with any information relating to the disappearance and murder of Marie Kilmartin is asked to contact Portlaoise Gardaí at 057-8674100 or Crimestoppers on 1800-250025.
Eileen Costello O’Shaughnessy was a 47 year old mother of two when she was murdered in Galway on the 30th November 1997.
Eileen was a taxi driver in Galway City and normally worked the day shift. On the day of her murder she had started work at 8am. At 8pm she informed the taxi base that she was taking a final fare from near Quay Street to Claregalway, a journey which would have taken about 20 minutes. Around 20 minutes later the taxi base attempted to contact Eileen to collect a fare in Claregalway but was unable to reach her. She was due to meet the owner of the taxi on the Dyke Road at 9pm to hand over the keys but she didn’t arrive. The taxi owner became worried at this point and also attempted to contact her.
Worried about her safety, a number of Eileen’s co-workers immediately began searching for Eileen. Around midnight her taxi, a silver Toyota Carina with the registration 97G6663, was discovered at Lydon House Bakery on the Tuam Road. There was blood in the car which indicated a violent struggle had taken place. The taxi meter also gave a reading of 17 miles.
Searches for Eileen continued through the night. However around midday the next day her body was discovered at a location know as Tinkers Lane near Knockdoemore off the N17. Eileen had been assaulted and died from severe brain injuries. She had not been sexually assaulted. The distance showing on Eileen’s taxi meter indicates that she drove to this location before the killer drove the car back to Lydon House Bakery where they abandoned it.
Eileen’s brother Martin Costello, a fellow taxi driver, stated that Eileen would have had about £70 or £80 on her at time of her murder. He believed she was murdered for her takings. Due to the violent nature of the murder, Eileen’s killer would have had bloodstains on their clothing and may also have sustained injuries.
Around 8.30pm on the night of the murder, a blonde woman was seen walking in the hard shoulder of the N17 near where Eileen’s body was found. She was walking towards Galway against oncoming traffic and appeared to be in a distressed state. She has never been identified. Newspapers from the days after Eileen’s murder said that Gardaí did not believe this woman and had a link to the murder but as of 2017 they are appealing for information on her.
At 8.45pm a motorist spotted Eileen’s taxi driving erratically on the N17 towards Galway. The motorist overtook the taxi near Leaders shop and saw a man with a beard driving it. The taxi then turned left into Lydon House Bakery where it was found hours later. This man has never been identified and Gardaí are appealing for more information.
Shortly thereafter, around 9pm, a man was seen jumping down from a wall close to Lydon House Bakery and walking in the direction of Galway. He was wearing a green jacket and carrying a small canvas bag. This man has never been identified.
Finally, a small red car was seen at 2am at Tinkers Lane where Eileen’s body was found. The car had reversed up the laneway and had the parking lights on. The occupants of this car have never been identified.
Despite numerous appeals for information, no one has ever been arrested for Eileen’s murder. Gardaí have previously stated that they have numerous suspects but suspicion often falls to double murderer Thomas Murray. At the time of the murder, Murray was on temporary release from Castlerea prison and was working as a labourer in Galway city. A witness supposedly placed Murray close to Tinkers Lane on the morning that Eileen’s body was discovered. Gardaí questioned Murray but apparently he had an alibi for the night of the murder.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Galway Garda Station on 091-533250.
Charles Self was stabbed to death in his home in Monkstown on the 21st January 1982. Despite repeated appeals for information, Gardaí are no closer to finding his killer.
Charles was born in England on Valentine’s Day 1949. Following the death of his mother, he was mainly raised by his Aunt in Glasgow. He had been working as a set-designer for the BBC when, in 1978, Alpho O’Reilly, head of design for RTÉ, persuaded him to move to Ireland to work for RTÉ. In an unrelated case, Alpho would later disappear himself in 1996 but I’ll go into more detail on that at another time.
Charles was well-known on the homosexual scene in Dublin at a time when it was extremely difficult to be gay. For context, homosexuality wasn’t decriminalised in Ireland for another 11 years.
On the evening of his murder, Charles spent about 30 minutes in The Bailey Bar. He then went to the South William Public House and stayed here until about 10.30pm. From here he met 5 friends in the now closed Bartley Dunne bar on Stephen’s Street Lower. Bartley Dunne was a known gay bar and Charles regularly socialised here.
When Bartley Dunne’s closed at 11.30pm, Charles left the bar heading along D’Olier Street onto Burgh Quay where he entered the Hotpot Café. The walk would have taken about 15 minutes. He ordered food at the Hotspot Café and spent about 30 minutes eating at the counter and chatting to the other customers.
After leaving the Hotpot Café he went to the public toilets on the corner of Burgh Quay and O’Connell Bridge. These toilets were reportedly a notorious gay hookup spot. According to witnesses, Charles spoke to two men here who were never identified and Gardaí are appealing for information on them. The first man was described as skinny, wearing a leather jacket and blue jeans, and was around 25 years old. The second man is described as pudgy with long blonde hair and wearing a black jacket with a white stripe down the sleeve.
Around 12.20am Charles and a young man took a taxi from Eden Quay back to Charles’ flat at Annesley Mews, off Brighton Avenue in Monkstown. During a reconstruction aired on RTÉ, the man with Charles was described as being very quiet, while another source says the two were ‘amorous’ in the taxi. This man was described as in his 20’s and with blonde hair. He was smartly dressed and wearing a two piece suit.
Around 8.50am on the following morning Charles was found stabbed to death at the bottom of the stairs in his flat. His body was found by Berty Tyrer, a friend who had stayed the night while Charles’ regular housemate was in London. Berty regularly crashed at Charles’ house and had stayed on this particular night as it had been snowing and this prevented him from getting to his own home in Wicklow. When Berty tried to call the Gardaí he was unable to get a dial tone and had to run to a neighbour’s to raise the alarm.
Charles had been stabbed 14 times and suffered 3 slash wounds to his throat. The torn cord from his roommate’s dressing gown was also wound tightly around his neck. The rest of the cord was tied to a chair. Gardaí reported that the assault on Charles started in the kitchen of the apartment before moving into the sitting room and ending in the hallway. The scene was described as chaotic, with the stereo still playing and records strewn across the room. The murder itself has been described by Gardaí as ‘brutal and frenzied’. 6 of the stab wounds, which were inflicted with an 8 inch kitchen knife, were so vicious that they went completely through his body.
The location of Charles’ body meant it was impossible to open the front door to the apartment. This led Gardaí to believe that the killer may have fled through a small window in the kitchen. However the window was also only 2ft wide and opened inwards making it almost impossible for someone to come in or out of, especially without disturbing the dishes on the counter. Furniture was also placed over some of the bloodstains leading Gardaí to believe the scene may have been staged.
Despite the ferociousness of the murder, Berty slept through the entire thing. He did say he was woken by someone entering his room at 2.30am before they apologised and closing the door. Although Berty only saw the man briefly he described him as having curly dark hair, while the man in the taxi with Charles was described as having straight blonde hair. Berty reported hearing no other noises that night. A neighbour in a nearby building did hear screaming during the night and another neighbour who lived across the courtyard reported hearing a stone bench being dragged through the courtyard at 4am. When she looked out she saw a man climbing over the wall into a nearby garden and noticed that the door to Charles’ home was ajar.
Gardaí received much criticism of their investigation into Charles’ murder. As mentioned above, homosexuality was still illegal at the time and the Gardaí were notoriously homophobic. Many gay men were questioned as part of the investigation and many of those questioned were not openly gay or had any logical connection to the murder. Gardaí seemed convinced that a ‘rent boy’ was responsible for the murder.
It is feared that, as Gardaí were so unwelcoming to members of the LGBT community at the time of the murder, key witnesses may have been afraid to come forward for fear of harassment. Gardaí hope that someone with information may still come forward especially as their relationship with the LGBT community has greatly improved.
The most obvious killer is the man who returned home with Charles, although Gardaí have never publicly named him as a suspect. Did something go wrong when they got to the house? Stabbing Charles 14 times, and so brutally that the knife went completely through his body, seems like overkill. It also points to a murderer who was extremely angry at the time of the killing and indicates a personal element also. Since Charles was also found with a torn ligament around his neck, and the other part of the ligament on a chair, it could indicate that the killer attempted to torture Charles in some way.
However the one thing I can’t get past is Berty sleeping through the violent struggle occurring downstairs. One newspaper explained this away by saying that Berty was in his 60s and was possibly hard of hearing but surely if someone entering his room was enough to wake him, then a violent murder taking place just downstairs would be more than enough to rouse him. The fact that Charles’ body was also found inside the front door, preventing it from being opened and with no other feasible exit, makes me extremely suspicious of Berty who remained in the house. However Gardaí never seemed to consider him a suspect and even asked him to draw a sketch of the man in the house. I haven’t found any sources stating whether Berty was gay or not, but if not this could explain why Gardaí didn’t see him as a suspect Maybe they were so determined to focus on the LGBT community that they ignored a potential suspect closer to home.
Of course there could be a much simpler explanation. Maybe Berty did hear the commotion downstairs but, fearing for his life, he stayed in his room so as to avoid getting killed himself. When he found Charles dead he was so ashamed that he didn’t intervene that he found it easier to pretend he slept through the whole event, eventually taking this secret to the grave.
Whatever happened that night, it’s been 37 years and Gardaí are still trying to discover who murdered Charles Self and what their motivation was. Anyone with information is asked to contact Gardaí at Dun Laoghaire Garda Station on 016665000.
Dean Roche (31) has been missing from Kilkenny, Ireland since the 22nd March 2015. Although his friends and family have searched tirelessly for Dean since he disappeared, they are no closer to finding him.
Dean was 31 when he disappeared. He was the middle child in a family of 3 brothers and was also the father of a son, Jamie. Dean was a known heroin addict and also had convictions for petty crime. When last seen he was wearing a black zip up tracksuit top and bottoms with white runners. Dean has been described as being 5’ 8’’ tall, of slight build, with green eyes and short brown hair. Sadly, Dean’s Mum has passed away since Dean disappeared having never learned what happened to her son.
Around 7pm on that evening of 22nd March, Dean left the home he shared with his Mum in Hebron Park and travelled by taxi to nearby Ballyfoyle to purchase a car. The journey should have taken about 15 minutes at most and Dean told his Mum that he’d be back in 30 minutes.
He purchased the car from a private seller for €200, although his Mum believed he may have had up to €900 in cash on him. The car was later found crashed half a mile from where he bought it. Dean reportedly spoke to a number of locals in the area following the crash but there is conflicting information regarding the time of his last sighting. According to the official Gardaí website: ‘Witnesses in Newpark, Ballyfoyle area describe seeing Dean at 9pm that evening. That is the last confirmed sighting of Dean … his last known sighting was at approximately 9.15pm when he left through the side of a house which led into a nearby field.’
However it has also been reported that around 8.15pm Dean approached a house in the area and spoke to the woman who lived there. She stated that he was disorientated and distressed and told her he needed help. She entered the house to get a phone to call for help but when she returned Dean had gone. She then saw a silver car speed past her gate and someone shouting ‘Get in the fucking car’ before the car sped off again.
Extensive searches have been conducted in the area by the Gardaí, including by the dog and water rescue units, and the Army. The Garda website states that a hat which possibly belonged to Dean was found. A pair of runners were also found but no trace of Dean’s DNA was found on these. Gardaí have stated that they believe Dean’s body is no longer in the area. Dean’s phone and bank accounts have not been used since his disappearance.
Ballyfoyle is on the outskirts of Kilkenny. It is a rural area consisting mainly of farms and some woodland. There are some quarries in the surrounding areas but there are none near the area from which Dean disappeared. On the date Dean went missing sunset was at 6.45pm so it would have been dark by the time he purchased the car. The weather was dry and clear.
As stated above, Dean had struggled with heroin. He successfully purchased the car as planned but apparently crashed it almost immediately. While Dean purchased the car for €200 it was believed he had as much as €900 in cash on him. Why was he carrying so much cash? Did he plan to meet someone after buying the car with the intention of purchasing drugs or maybe to clear a debt he owed? That could explain the silver car that a resident of the area saw and heard.
What caused him to crash the car so soon? I’ve often wondered if Dean was under the influence of drugs at the time of the crash or if it was just an unfortunate accident. I also wonder did he hit his head in the crash which caused him to become disorientated. This could have caused him to wander off and succumb to the elements. However this seems unlikely since Gardaí have indicated that they don’t believe Dean is still in the area.
Let’s also ignore the drug angle for a second and give Dean the benefit of the doubt. Could he have encountered the driver of the silver car earlier in the evening? Maybe they were involved in the car accident somehow and came after Dean in a fit of road rage.
Regardless of what happened, Dean’s family have now spent over 4 years searching for answers and are no closer to finding out where Dean is.
Anyone with any information relating to Dean is asked to contact Kilkenny Garda Station on 056 7775000, The Garda Confidential Telephone Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.