Cork community to mark 10th anniversary of Ann Corcoran murder

Cork community to mark 10th anniversary of Ann Corcoran murder
Ann Corcoran

A tightknit community is set to mark the 10th anniversary of the murder of a frail widow, whose callous killer stole her money for a skiing holiday.

The people of Kilbrittain, Co Cork are set to unite on January 19 to remember local woman Ann Corcoran, 60, who was beaten to death by Oliver Hayes, 49, who lived in nearby Bandon.

Hayes abducted Mrs Corcoran from her home, forced her to reveal her bank account details and beat her unconscious before leaving her to die.

He stole €3,000 from her account before attempting to bury her body in woods and then went on a skiing holiday to Austria.

Hayes was later caught by the gardaí and given a life sentence.

At the sentencing Mr Justice Paul Carney said apart from the gratuitous violence involved, one of the most chilling features of the case was Hayes's lack of genuine remorse over anything other than the suffering of Mrs Corcoran's dogs, which were left unattended for several days after he killed her.

A special mass in Ms Corcoran's memory will be held at the church in Kilbrittain at 8pm on Saturday January 19. It will be followed an hour later by the unveiling of a special plaque at the community hall thanking all the volunteers and gardaí who helped in the nine-day search for her body.

Kilbrittain Community Alert chairman Mick Twohig said the plaque had been donated by Ms Corcoran's relatives.

He recounted the shock generated by her murder and how the community and volunteers from further afield rallied to search for her body.

Oliver Hayes
Oliver Hayes

When local garda John McCarthy said that gardaí would be looking for search volunteers Mick and his wife, Marian, who was secretary of the local GAA club, started texting people.

"We arrived at the hall the following morning hoping that 20 or 30 people would turn up. Instead we were met with 100 people at 9am and by 10.30am there were more than 200," Mr Twohig said.

O'Connor's Coaches put on two coaches to take them to search sites. Meanwhile, a team of people prepared food and hot soup in the community hall for the searchers.

Mr Twohig said several businesses in the region donated food and volunteers on the search teams came from as far away as Skibbereen and Cobh.

When Ms Corcoran's car was found abandoned ar Old Chapel, on the outskirts of Bandon, Mr Twohig said locals feared the worst.

"We knew something was up then. Gardaí searched a nearby river (but found nothing)," he said.

There was huge shock when it was discovered she'd been murdered. We never had anything like this happen in Kilbrittain and hopefully it will never happen again.

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