Son, 27, on trial for murdering mother at breakfast

Paul Horgan

A 27-year-old man went on trial yesterday charged with murdering his mother at breakfast time in the family home.

The man’s father testified yesterday that his son followed him out of the house immediately afterwards holding two kitchen knives up, clicking them together and smiling.

Paul Horgan is charged with the murder of his mother Marian, aged 60, at the family home at Murmont Avenue in Montenotte in Cork on November 24, 2015.

Bill Horgan said his son had attention deficit disorder in school but did not get into any difficulties in school and never showed any signs of violence before that morning.

Mr Horgan, aged 71, described the scene he witnessed in the kitchen after seven o’clock that morning when he saw his wife: “She was standing in the kitchen. She had her hands around her neck, a knife sticking out of her neck. She said, ‘Help me’. I put my arm around her. She fell to the floor. I said, ‘Look what you are after doing to your mother’.

“He didn’t say a word. He looked calm. He never said anything. He looked at me as if there was something wrong with me. He just smiled. He kept smiling.”

“He struck me with something in the head. I ended up next to Marian on the floor. I don’t know how long I was there. I came around. My head was stinging.” [He had seven wounds to his head.]

“Paul slipped on the blood. I got up then. I felt I had to (leave). The next time I saw him — I looked behind me — he was there with two knives clicking them like that [gestured in the witness box]. He was smiling at me. He kept walking down the footpath clicking the knives.

I hit the knife out of his right hand. I don’t know how I got the knife out of his left hand.

Neighbour Fergus O’Donoghue was walking from his front door when he noticed two figures in the porch of the Horgan house. Then he saw it was Paul Horgan holding his father in a headlock. Mr O’Donoghue intervened.

Mr O’Donoghue said Bill Horgan said to him, “He killed Marian”.

Mr O’Donoghue turned to the accused and said, “What did you do?” Paul replied, “I killed her”.

“He appeared quite cool and calm at the time. He was shouting at his dad, ‘you fat c**t’.”

Paul kept trying to get past Mr O’Donoghue to get at his dad and Mr O’Donoghue had to wrestle him to the ground and hit him.

Other men who arrived on the scene assisted.

Garda Mark Durcan was on duty nearby and handcuffed Paul Horgan and arrested him.

Bill Horgan said the previous night he returned from his local GAA club, Brian Dillon’s, at around midnight and saw Paul watching television and told him not to stay up too late. Marian Horgan was asleep when her husband arrived in the room.

The next morning he woke at 7am to hear an argument from the kitchen and recognised the voices of his son and his wife although he could not hear what they were arguing about.

Examined later by a doctor Paul Horgan was not diagnosed with a psychiatric illness or psychosis but he was agitated and his breath smelled of alcohol, Mr Creed SC said.

The prosecution senior counsel said the pathologist’s report was that the fatal stab wound to the neck went through the base of the skull, cut the jugular vein and impaled the deceased’s tongue — a stabbing that would have required significant force.

The case continues before Mr Justice Pat McCarthy and a jury of nine men and three women at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork on Tuesday.


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