A woman charged with the murder of Timothy Foley in Macroom, Co Cork, told the arresting Garda: “I did not kill my husband. I stabbed him twice, not 28 times.”
Rita O’Driscoll, aged 46, and with an address at 16 Bridge St, Bandon, appeared before Macroom District Court in relation to Mr Foley’s death on October 8 at 12 Dan Corkery Place in Macroom. Detective Sergeant Derek Mulcahy of Bantry Garda Station had evidence before Judge Mary Dorgan that Ms O’Driscoll was arrested on October 9 at 11.30pm at Weir St, Bandon, and that, on October 10, she was arrested for the offence of the murder of Timothy Foley between October 7 and 8.
He said that, at 12.19am on October 10, on the direction of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Ms O’Driscoll, who he referred to as Ms Foley, was charged.
The court heard she said: “I did not kill my husband. I stabbed him twice, not 28 times.”
Inspector Brian Murphy told the court that bail was a matter for the High Court and he was seeking to have the accused remanded in custody until a sitting of Macroom District Court on October 17.
Ms O’Driscoll, in black clothing, stood while the evidence was heard. Her solicitor, Pat Horan, then addressed the court. He said she had been subjected to “extensive emotional, physical, and sexual abuse in the family home over the years”, alleging that weapons had been used against her and that her children had witnessed some of these incidents. Mr Horan said his client was “a loving mother” and “her children come first”.
He then said that, last Monday, when his client was in custody, her landlord had “unilaterally turned up at the house where she lives” and had boarded it up, effectively rendering her two children homeless.
Mr Horan described the children — a son aged 20 and a 21-year-old daughter — as vulnerable and said his client was asking the housing section of Cork County Council to take steps to find emergency accommodation for them.
“It is her children her thoughts now turn to,” Mr Horan said. He added that she understood she would be remanded in custody and asked that appropriate security measures be put in place for her at Limerick Prison.
She was also asking that appropriate security arrangements be put in place for her children.
Mr Horan also sought a certificate of legal aid and that this be extended to cover the cost of a psychiatric report.
He added that she would be known to state agencies.
Mr Horan said Ms O’Driscoll was not making any application for bail, which is a matter for the High Court, but said she intended to enter a plea of not guilty at the appropriate time.
Judge Dorgan remanded Ms O’Driscoll in custody until October 17 and said “clearly this is a very serious and difficult matter for all concerned”.
She directed that a psychiatric report be obtained and said she was familiar with Ms O’Driscoll and her means and granted legal aid. The judge directed the accused get “all the assistance that she needs”.
Mr Horan said he has written to the landlord already, claiming what had been done to the property was “in breach of the law” and that the PRTB was the appropriate body to deal with it.
Insp Murphy asked that all parties affected continue to support gardaí “to help us bring this matter to a proper conclusion”.
Judge Dorgan urged for calm and caution.