Man receives two life sentences for murder

A 46-year-old father-of-three has received two life sentences after pleading guilty to the murder of his wife and her former boss, a well known publican in Co Waterford last year at the Central Criminal Court today.

A 46-year-old father-of-three has received two life sentences after pleading guilty to the murder of his wife and her former boss, a well known publican in Co Waterford last year at the Central Criminal Court today.

Declan Power, Bawnacomera, Kinsalebeg, Ardmore Co Waterford pleaded guilty to the murder of Joan Power, (40) and well-known publican Maurice Curran (48) on March 9, 2002.

The court heard that Power stabbed his wife to death with a kitchen knife at the home they shared in Bawnacomera, Kinsalebeg, Ardmore before setting out to the nearby village of Clashmore where he confronted Mr Curran and shot him twice in the chest and head, killing him.

Supt Michael Blake told the court that Mr Power gave himself up to gardai following the double-murder and described himself as "suspicious, jealous and possessive of his wife". He suspected her of having an affair and his suspicions were heightened when his wife made a trip to Dublin days before the killing.

"There was a confrontation when she returned," Supt Blake told Paul O’Higgins SC for the prosecution. "He killed her in an argument, striking her first with a mallot and then stabbing her with a kitchen knife," he added.

Maurice Curran, who was a successful publican and the owner of The Decies Bar, Main Street, Clashmore, Co Waterford was a married man with three children. Sgt Blake gave evidence that Power called to Mr Curran’s bar in the early hours of the morning to confront Mr Curran about his suspicions.

Following a row, Mr Power retrieved a sawn off shot gun from his car and shot him twice. The injured man tried to run away as Mr Power discharged a third shot, but Mr Curran collapsed and died on the roadside. A passing taxi alerted gardai to the scene.

Mr Patrick MacEntee SC for the defence said his client was "devastated with remorse" and had been suicidal since the killings. She said he was a hard-working mechanic all of his life and a loving father, who has the support of his three children.

Mr Power’s children were visibly upset in court as Mr Justice Carney imposed the concurrent life sentences.

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