Cancer victim’s thinking ‘was perfect’

A woman who died from cancer, and whose will is being contested over alleged undue influence, was no more vulnerable than any other cancer patient in a similar position, a doctor has told the High Court.

Cancer victim’s thinking ‘was perfect’

Hair stylist, Celine Murphy, 50, Old Naas Road, Dublin, died on March 15, 2011, leaving her estate, including an apartment, to a friend, Mary Butler, from Straffan, Co Kildare.

Ms Murphy, who was unmarried with no children, also entrusted the will to Tridentine Bishop Michael Cox who acted as executor.

Her two sisters, Majella Rippington and Edel Banahan, along with Mrs Rippington’s husband Shaun, want the will declared invalid because they say Celine was not physically or mentally capable of signing it on March 8, 2011. She died a week later in hospital.

Ms Butler and Bishop Cox say Ms Murphy was of sound mind and have counter-claimed seeking a declaration the will is valid.

Yesterday a doctor who treated Ms Murphy in St Luke’s Hospital, Dublin, said she was no more vulnerable than anyone with cancer.

Dr Osama Salib, consultant in radiation oncology in St Luke’s, said Celine was in fact a very strong-willed person and would on occasion tell him (doctor) what to do.

Asked by Majella Rippington, who is presenting the family’s case, how Celine’s illness impacted on her, Dr Salib said “her thinking was absolutely perfect.

Ms Murphy’s family claim she was not physically able to sign a will or to have travelled to Ms Butler’s home in Straffan to sign the will on March 8.

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