Man charged with widow’s 1987 murder

A man aged 52 has been charged with the murder of a widow, 79, whose body was found in a burning house more than 28 years ago.

John Joseph Malone of 46 Newpark, Kilkenny City, was brought before a special sitting of Kilkenny District Court yesterday morning, charged with murdering Ann Nancy Smyth at 42A Wolfe Tone St, Kilkenny, on September 11, 1987.

The case was the subject of review by the Garda cold case team and then by gardaí in Kilkenny and Mr Malone was arrested on Thursday in Newpark, Kilkenny.

Detective Sergeant Colin Furlong told the court that he arrested Mr Malone at 8.36pm on Thursday and brought him to Kilkenny Garda Station. The accused was charged and, when asked if he had anything to say, replied “no”.

Mr Malone was brought by gardaí to Kilkenny Courthouse just before 9.30am yesterday .

He was dressed in a black jacket and blue jeans.

During the brief court hearing, Judge Colin Daly remanded the accused in custody, to appear before Cloverhill District Court next Thursday, October 22.

Chris Hogan, solicitor for the accused, asked that his client be put in protective custody and be medically assessed while in prison.

Judge Daly agreed to ask the prison governor this.

The court heard the accused is not working, and free legal aid was granted.

Ms Smyth, whose husband died in 1986, was found dead in a burning house on Wolfe Tone St by fire service personnel after an emergency call was made. The house was destroyed in the fire.


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