Accused got will drawn up before suicide

A man who was facing a murder charge when he took his own life in a courthouse holding cell had instructed his solicitor to draw up his will, an inquest has heard.

Shane Rogers, aged 32, from Deery’s Terrace, Inniskeen, Co Monaghan, died by suicide following a remand hearing at Cloverhill Courthouse on Dec 20, 2011. He had been charged with the murder of Crossmaglen GAA player James Hughes, 35, in a shooting incident in Dundalk, Co Louth, nine days earlier.

Solicitor Martin Crilly told Dublin Coroner’s Court that when he spoke to Mr Rogers after he had been charged on the evening of Monday, Dec 12, his client was “very distraught and very obviously suicidal”. Mr Rogers told him that he intended to kill himself at the first opportunity.

“All he wanted to talk about was that his funeral expenses would be paid for,” he said.

Mr Rogers asked his solicitor to draw up a will. “I explained that he was more or less giving me a suicide note, which was causing me a lot of difficulty,” Mr Crilly said.

The inquest had previously heard that Mr Rogers told several people he intended to take his own life but denied this when assessed by medics at Cloverhill Prison. However, he was being held in the vulnerable wing of the prison due to concerns for his safety.

Cloverhill Prison governor Ronan Maher said that a number of issues raised by Mr Rogers’s death had been addressed, including the creation of two specially adapted holding cells.

The inquest was adjourned to Dec 13.

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