Murder accused claims that her ex-husband stabbed her

October 17th, 2020 8:00 PM

Rita O’Driscoll at Macroom Court after she was arrested in 2018. (Photo: John Delea)

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THE woman accused of murdering her ex-husband at a house in Macroom claimed she stabbed him two or three times and that the deceased’s brother then picked up the knife and began stabbing the victim who was found with 28 stab wounds.

The accused called her ex-husband ‘an evil bastard’ who stabbed her on seven occasions before this incident.

This suggestion that the victim’s brother stabbed him was made by Roderick O’Hanlon, barrister for Rita O’Driscoll of Bridge Street, Bandon who denies the murder of 44-year-old Timmy Foley at 12 Dan Corkery Place, Macroom on October 8th 2018. 

She also denies assault causing serious harm to the deceased man’s brother, Jason Foley.

Siobhán Lankford, prosecuting barrister, opening the case to the jury earlier this week said: ‘Rita O’Driscoll was admitted to Cork University Hospital psychiatric ward on September 21st 2018 and discharged on October 5th. When discharged, the psychiatrist said she was coherent.

‘She travelled to Macroom and went to the home of her former brother-in-law, Jason Foley, who had an acquired brain injury in the past and had a panic button. At that time Timmy Foley was in the house with him. Some time after midnight, there was a fracas in the house.’

The court heard the alarm was raised through the panic button at the house at 1.40am and the gardaí arrived.

Ms Lankford continued: ‘They found a very fraught scene. There was a lot of blood. Rita O’Driscoll was outside the house. She was bleeding. She had sustained two stab wounds to her left arm and some cut or laceration to her face. In the property there was a lot of blood. Jason Foley was clearly injured. He had sustained stab wounds to the right side of his neck, the base of his lung, his kidney and liver. He had a number of stab wounds.

‘Timmy Foley was very clearly extremely unwell. There was a lot of blood around him. He had difficulty breathing. He was still alive when the gardaí arrived. He was mortally wounded. He died that night.’

Garda Padraig Dennehy said that he saw Timmy Foley lying on the floor. ‘His eyes were open. He was very pale and very unresponsive … There was a lot of blood around the back of Timmy Foley’s head and around his body and a lot of blood at his feet,’ he said.

He said that gardaí had to stop the accused woman from going back into the house.

‘She was shouting, “Get back up and fight for your life. He stabbed me seven times in the past”.’

At one stage she said to Garda Siobhan O’Dowd: ‘I am afraid of him no more. I don’t care if I live or die.’

Jason Foley testified that on the night: ‘Rita was pucking Timmy in the stomach. He said: “Jason, I am goosed.” I seen Timmy started roaring. I seen blood coming from his stomach. I said I will get an ambulance.’

Ms Lankford asked: ‘Did you see what caused his stomach to be bleeding?’

He replied: ‘Rita’s fist. He (Timmy) put his hands to his stomach. There was blood on his hands.’

Ms Lankford asked: ‘Did you see anything in her hands?’ He replied: ‘Yeah, a bloody knife. It was full of blood. The knife was full of blood. Her fist was full of blood.’

Under cross examination, Mr O’Hanlon asked if he knew the O’Driscoll family were settled travellers. He replied: ‘Not travellers, tinkers.’ Mr O’Hanlon said: ‘You don’t like them?’ He replied: ‘There is nothing to like about them.’

The trial continues at the Central Criminal Court.

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