BREAKING: Valerie French murder trial collapses for second time

November 20th, 2023 3:40 PM

By Southern Star Team

Valerie French Kilroy, originally from Leap, who died in an attack outside her home.

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THE trial into the murder of Valerie French has collapsed for a second time.

The trial of James Kilroy, who has admitted killing his West Cork wife Valerie at their rural Co Mayo home,  collapsed for a second time at the Central Criminal Court today as a key defence witness, who was in the process of giving his testimony, is now unavailable to give evidence.

Evidence in the trial was scheduled to continue before the 12 jurors at midday today but Mr Justice Paul McDermott told the five men and seven women that psychiatrist Professor Keith Rix, who was called by the defence and had given evidence before his testimony was ‘suddenly interrupted’ last Friday, is now unavailable and will not be available into the immediate future.

Mr Justice McDermott said that, in those circumstances, the court could not continue with the trial. He added that the evidence given by Professor Rix was important but now cannot be completed.

The trial has been sitting since November 8th and had heard nearly two weeks of evidence since opening at the Criminal Courts of Justice.

Mr Kilroy (50), had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to murdering occupational therapist Valerie French Kilroy (41), originally from Leap, at their rural home at Kilbree Lower, Westport, Co Mayo, between June 13th, 2019 and June 14th, 2019.

Addressing the jurors today, Mr Justice McDermott said that ‘unfortunately’ the trial could not continue any further and in those circumstances he would have to discharge them.

‘It will have to go to a further date for trial before a different jury. It is not something the court readily does. I do want to thank you, you've been absorbing a lot of detail about this in the last number of days and unfortunately we have to bring the trial to an end and all of it will have to be gone through again with another jury,’ he said.

Mr Kilroy was remanded in custody and the case was listed in the next list to fix dates – on November 28th.

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