When two white coffins said to contain the embryos of twin brothers were searched by gardaí at a Kerry funeral home, no biological material was found in one.
The revelation was made at Limerick Circuit Court, when Darren O’Shea, aged 36, of Casement Avenue, Tralee, sought bail, claiming that, as father of twins miscarried by his partner, he should get bail to attend their funeral ceremony, set for October 7.
The State objected to bail, claiming there were no twins and that O’Shea was a flight risk.
Brian McInerney, counsel for O’Shea, said the prison authorities were prepared to allow O’Shea make a private visit to the funeral home in Tralee, but “would not go down the road” with his request to attend a Mass of the Angels ceremony.
State solicitor Aidan Judge said the core of the bail application was based on O’Shea’s claim that his partner was pregnant with twins when she miscarried and the application was based on this false premise .
He said the State did not accept that O’Shea’s partner was carrying twins when she miscarried at seven weeks.
Judge Tom O’Donnell agreed to a submission by Mr McInerney not to allow Mr Judge introduce medical records relating to O’Shea’s partner into evidence.
Det Sgt Declan Liddane, head of the Kerry Divisional Drugs Squad, alleged that O’Shea has a serious heroin addiction and alleged he would be a risk to himself and to the general population of Tralee if given bail.
Det Sgt Liddane said: “I would not have it on my conscience to agree to bail.”
It was alleged that O’Shea has a history of not turning up for court appearances.
Det Sgt Liddane said that on the instructions of the State Solicitor, Mr Judge, he went to Gleasure’s funeral home in Tralee on Wednesday. He met with the funeral director, Graham Gleasure, and had been instructed to request to view the contents of the two coffins.
One had a breastplate with the inscription ‘Aaron O’Shea RIP 2/8/2016’. This coffin contained a child’s T-shirt, family photos, a lock of adult human hair, and a little 4” white box with a sticker with the name of O’Shea’s partner and a five-digit number on it. This contained something wrapped in tissue. It was not specified in court what was in this box.
The second white coffin had the name ‘Darren O’Shea’ on the breastplate. It contained a child’s T-shirt, family photos, a lock of adult human hair, and a little toy elephant. Det Sgt Liddan said this coffin contained no biological material.
Judge O’Donnell said it is an enormous tragedy to lose twins in a pregnancy. He said he had to look at the application in a cold, dispassionate way and noted that O’Shea’s record of failing to appear in court was of serious concern and he refused bail. He urged O’Shea to consider the offer of a private visit to the funeral home.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved