Person: Patrick J McCarthy

Ballincollig murder victim failed to return from walk, court hears

The mother of a 22-year-old Cork woman allegedly raped and murdered by a local teenager has told the Central Criminal Court that she began to get worried after the family dogs her daughter had been walking arrived back home without her. Mrs Rose Kiely was giving evidence in the trial of a 22-year-old man who denies the murder but admits the manslaughter of Rachel Kiely who's strangled body was found on waste ground on October 26th 2000 at the Regional Park in Ballincollig. He also denies raping Ms Kiely on the same occasion when he was 16-years-old. Mrs Kiely told Mr Patrick J McCarthy SC, prosecuting, that her daughter used to walk the family’s two dogs in the nearby Regional Park on most days. One the evening of her death she said she watched her daughter leave through a gap in the fence into the park with one of the dogs, the smaller one catching up with her. She said her husband had been due back at around 5pm and she was getting the evening meal ready. She asked her daughter to stop and have some dinner, but she said she would have it when she got back. At about twenty to 6 that evening Mrs Kiely said the dogs scratched on the front door. “Normally she would bring them in the back way. Rachel wasn’t there and I began to get worried,” she said. She wanted to go out and look for her daughter but waited until her husband got back from work before heading out into the park with her youngest daughter Elizabeth. Mrs Kiely said Elizabeth said she had heard a scream or a cry. She suggested it might have come from the playing field but her daughter said it sounded low to the ground, which made the witness think this was unusual. Later on she said it was beginning to get dark so she decided to go back. She was going back the way she had come when she met the accused. “I said ‘Hi’ and then he said ‘Hi’,” she told Mr McCarthy. She then went home before taking the car and continuing to search for the daughter. When she returned home again her husband suggested they call the gardai. A group of people also began searching for her and she bought “four or five or six torches” from a local shop. She said Rachel had had a boyfriend who was part of a group of people from the Jehovas Witness community but said she had never seen her in the company of the accused. Asked by Mr Brendan Grehan SC, defending, whether she had given evidence to gardai about her daughter Elizabeth saying she had heard a scream, Mrs Kiely

Tue, 21 Feb, 2006