‘Bungee cord used to strangle brother’

Accused submerged body in pit at Cliffs of Moher, court hears

A man who has pleaded not guilty to murdering his brother by reason of insanity used a bungee cord to strangle him before submerging his body in a water-filled pit beside the Cliffs of Moher and concealing it under rocks, a jury has heard.

At the Central Criminal Court, Declan Ó Cualain, aged 41, of An Caoran Beag, An Cheathru Rua, Co Galway, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Adrian Folan (Ó Cualain) at Lislorkin North, Liscannor, Co Clare, on July 4, 2014, by reason of insanity.

Detective Inspector John Galvin yesterday told

Anthony Sammon, prosecuting,

that, on July 5, 2014, Mr Folan was reported by friends to be missing from “his usual place of abode and activities” — which was Athlone, Co Westmeath.

The court heard searches were then carried out in Athlone in an effort to locate Mr Folan.

“Declan Ó Cualain was aware of this and was part of the searches. On July 6, 2014, Mr Ó Cualain made certain confessions to his friend Paul Taylor that he had killed his brother by strangulation and had disposed of the body in Co Clare,” said Det Insp Galvin.

Mr Ó Cualain also rang Athlone Garda Station and made a further confession to having killed his brother.

The accused was then arrested at his home in Carraroe, Co Galway, at 4.30am on July 7, 2014.

Mr Ó Cualain told gardaí he had disposed of his brother’s body “adjacent to the Cliffs of Moher in Co Clare”.

Det Insp Galvin told the court he and other gardaí went to the Cliffs of Moher area on July 7 to locate the body of the deceased, which was “concealed under rocks”.

The court heard his body was then taken to Limerick University Hospital where it was formally identified by his brother, Alan.

During the course of interviews at Galway Garda Station, Mr Ó Cualain told gardaí how he strangled his brother using a “bungee cord”, which is “an elastic piece of material”.

“The killing took place in the accused’s Citroen Berlingo van which he parked at the entrance to the main car park at the Cliff of Moher visitor’s centre,” said Det Insp Galvin.

Detective Sergeant Paudie O’Shea told the court the accused first made admissions about the killing to his “good friend”, Paul Taylor.

The accused told gardaí he was upset his brother had abused a member of his family and he was “paranoid about child abuse”.

Mr Sammon had earlier told the jury that the accused had become “fixated with paedophilia” and held the baseless delusion that his brother was a person “afflicted with this difficulty and he may have sexually abused a sibling”.

Mr Sammon said the accused was in “an utterly delusional state of mind” at the time and the delusions were “not to be given any weight whatsoever”.

The court heard the accused is the second eldest in his family and had a job in AIB before he got sick in 2000.

The court heard he told gardaí that he previously spoke to a garda and someone in a psychiatric unit about his brother.

The trial continues.


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