Hotelier’s husband is charged with her murder

THE husband of hotelier Siobhan Kearney who was found strangled to death over a year ago has been charged with her murder.

Brian Kearney, aged 50, was arrested early yesterday morning in the estate where he lived with his late wife and their four-year-old son, Daniel.

During a brief appearance at Dun Laoghaire District Court in south Dublin, Detective Sergeant Michael Gibbons said he had arrested the accused at 6.50am and brought him to Dundrum Garda Station where he was formally charged.

Det Sgt Gibbons said the accused had replied: “Not guilty” in response to the charge. He asked Judge Claire Leonard to remand Mr Kearney in custody and to schedule a furtherappearance in court in a week’s time.

Solicitor for the accused Robert Eagar said there was no objection to a remand and no application for bail. Mr Eagar also said the court would have been aware of correspondence with the gardaí in relation to the case. “Mr Kearney indicated he would make himself available for charge,” he said.

The accused, who appeared with tousled hair, dressed in casual jeans, a grey zip-collar jumper, sports sandals and dark socks, did not speak or acknowledge members of his wife’s family who sat to the back of the courtroom.

Ms Kearney’s parents, Deirdre and Owen McLaughlin, and two ofher sisters, Aisling and Brighid, held each other tightly throughout the hearing and sobbed. The family had made a number of public appeals and held memorial services to help keep Siobhan’s case in the spotlight over the past year.

Ms Kearney, aged 38, who was also stepmother to Mr Kearney’s daughter, lived at Carnroe, a detached house at Knocknashee, Goatstown, Dublin 14, but she spent much of the year at a boutique hotel on the Spanish island of Mallorca, which she ran with her husband.

She had trained as a chef before setting up the Hotel Salvia in the resort of Soller.

She was found dead by a relative at Carnroe on February 28 last year. Her husband’s address was given in court yesterday as Salvia, Knocknashee, Goatstown, a second house the couple owned in the Knocknashee estate.

There were two arrests during the investigation into her death and a file had been with the Director of Public Prosecutions since last autumn.

Mr Kearney will appear again on June 6 at Cloverhill District Court attached to Cloverhill Prison.

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