BY BRIAN MOORE
A WEST Cork woman, accused of murder, said she feels safe for the first time in 20 years while on remand in Limerick prison awaiting trial.
Rita O’Driscoll (46), who is charged with the murder of Timothy Foley (44) at Dan Corkery Place in Macroom between October 7th and October 8th, appeared at Macroom District Court this week.
Her solicitor, Pat Horan, told Judge James McNulty she wanted to thank the prison service for their compassion and care.
‘My client wants the court to know that she is very complimentary about the services that have been provided to her by the governor and officers at Limerick prison,’ Mr Horan said.
‘She also wants me to point out to the court that they have been very helpful to her and that she has no plans to apply for High Court bail because, as she sees it herself, she is safe and secure, and doesn’t want to leave Limerick prison at the moment.
‘My client has been seeing the prison chaplain and Sr Bernadette everyday and they have been a great source of comfort to her. And she said that she feels, for the first time in more 20 years, to be in a safe and secure place.’
At her last court appearance, Rita O’Driscoll had asked the court to ensure that appropriate security arrangements be made for her while she was on remand in Limerick Prison and that the same measures be made for her two children and extended family.
‘Rita suffers gravely from psychological issues which manifest themselves everyday,’ Mr Horan said. ‘She tells me that these issues are a result of the profound physical and sexual violence which was perpetrated on her over the years. She has attempted to deal with these issues in the prison, and Rita is being seen by the prison psychiatrist on a regular basis. She has been diagnosed in the past with battered women’s syndrome, as well as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and I was advised yesterday that a report, possibly by a clinical psychologist, might be of benefit to her.’
Mr Horan made a court application to extend the legal aid to cover a report by a clinical psychologist which Judge McNulty granted and remanded her, by consent, to Limerick prison to appear at Macroom District Court on Wednesday November 7th.