Inquest will look into mysterious deaths of couple in Askeaton

The mystery deaths and Thomas Ruttle and Julia Holmes and the bizarre circumstances in which their bodies were found in a house in West Limerick will unfold at a hearing later this month.

Detailed evidence is expected to be given at an inquest to be held in Newcastle West into the deaths of Mr Ruttle, 56, and Ms Holmes, 63.

Their bodies were found in the early hours of May 18, 2015, when a gang of burglars broke into Mr Ruttle’s home at Boolaglass, Askeaton.

Acting County Limerick coroner Antoinette Simon said yesterday she has arranged an inquest to be held at Newcastle West Court on April 25 before a jury of six people.

Among the witnesses summonsed to give evidence are State Pathologist, Dr Marie Cassidy, and the three-man gang who found the bodies.

Their evidence can be read into the record by way of deposition.

Inquest will look into mysterious deaths of couple in Askeaton

Before meeting Mr Ruttle on the internet four years ago, Ms Holmes, who was originally from Northern Ireland, left a trail of fraud through Canada, US and Australia. In Ireland, she linked up with the unsuspecting Thomas Ruttle, a quiet Co Limerick man who kept bees for honey-making, and worked as a mechanic.

Over decades of scamming, Julia Holmes served two years in a Texas jail for conning a group of local businessmen, one she whom she had married, out of $500,000. After moving to live with Mr Ruttle at Boolaglass, Askeaton, she engaged builders to carry out major renovations to the two-storey house. The builders were left owed about €50,000 for that work.

Inquest will look into mysterious deaths of couple in Askeaton

She tapped into Thomas Ruttle’s honey-making enterprise and began to falsely market the honey as organic. The PSNI had issued an arrest warrant for Ms Holmes and wanted to extradite her to the North and Ms Holmes was aware of this at the time of her death.


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