A former businesswoman who was beaten to death by the leg of a chair in Craughwell is one of six cases under the spotlight by a new documentary series examining cases where women were killed by their partners.
Fir, Marú agus Grá gives a startling insight into “intimate partner homicides”. The common thread of the six cases is the turbulent relationships that often precede the killings, explained the producer Medb Johnstone of Midas Productions.
On July 17, 2005, Catherine McEnery was found dead in the bedroom of a picturesque thatched cottage outside Craughwell.
Her partner of ten years, Kieran Lynch, was tried for murder two years later in the first murder trial held in the county since the Maam Trasna murders in 1882. He was found guilty of murder after the jury rejected his claims that he was provoked into “a crime of passion” after she had allegedly hit him with a plank of wood.
The court heard that both Kieran Lynch and Catherine McEnery struggled seriously with alcohol and abused it regularly with prescription drugs. Ms McEnery had previously run a successful catering business before her relationship with Lynch. He described her during the trial as “as the closest you’ll ever get to an angel”.
Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis had found Ms McEnery had endured a multiplicity of blows to her head, face, trunk and limbs and had sustained a fractured skull, broken cheek bone and jaw, multiple fractured ribs as well as defensive injuries to her hands, which also had broken fingers. He found the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head, face and chest.
Gardaí gave evidence they found a broken leg of a chair inside the cottage with bloodstains and hair. There was blood throughout the home, while “clumps of hair” were found on the door frame leading into the bedroom.
While serving a life sentence, Lynch won an appeal against his conviction for murder. The Court of Criminal Appeal found the Mr Justice Paul Carney’s responses to questions from the jury concerning provocation, while “entirely well meant”, were “misconceived and confusing”.
A retrial was ordered and at his arraignment he pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was given a reduced sentence of 12 years – with the final four years suspended.
As he had already served ten years, he was released from prison and placed on probation for two years.
Ms McEnery’s case is featured in the fifth episode of the series.
The first examined the trial of Laois man Robert Corbet for the killing of Aoife Phelan in 2012. Some 13 days after she was first reported missing by her family, Aoife’s body was discovered in an oil barrel buried ten feet underground on Corbet’s land.
The second episode looks into the killing of Catherine Smart, whose body was found in her home on Easter Sunday 2010 in Middleton, Co Cork. Arrested for the first time 38 days after the death, Derrick Daly stood trial for her murder in 2011.
The next one explores the death of Romanian nurse Loredana Pricajan, whose body was discovered in a Dublin hotel by the night porter on duty. Her ex-boyfriend, Romanian national Mihalache Marian, stood trial for her murder a year later.
Episode number four examines the trial of Goodwill Udechukwu for the murder of his wife, Jamaican mother of two, Natasha Gray, in her apartment in Phibsboro in 2003. After killing Natasha, Goodwill disappeared without trace only to be arrested for a different crime in London in 2005.
The final case – the first where a person accused of murder in Ireland is tried in Britain – examines the evidence presented at the murder trial of Christopher Newman for the murder of Georgina Eager in Walkinstown, Dublin in 2003.
“We very much wanted to shine a light on these cases as many victims of violent crime are too quickly forgotten. We wanted to show the evidence, how these men were caught, the hard work that goes into piecing that evidence together,” Medb explained.
“Every one of the perpetrators denied it. No one was able to speak up for the victim. They had no voice, nobody was there to speak up about how they met their death other than the killer.”
Medb points to statistics which show that in Ireland nearly nine in every ten women who are killed are killed by a male known to them.
“By and large, these ‘intimate partner homicides’ are usually preceded by physical or mental abuse, controlling behaviour and harassment. But separation can also be a catalyst for violence and for women, it is often a dangerous time to be around the men they wish to leave.”
The Herbal Academy’s leading course on living a healthy life
There has already been a phenomenal upsurge in the use of holistic treatments to deal with a whole host of common ailments – but a Galway herbalist and educator has now taken this to the next level.
Because Tuam-based Patrick Murphy – owner and founder of the Herbal Academy – believes that that anyone can learn to make and use herbal remedies at home, for their own wellbeing and that of their families and clients.
Which is the ethos behind the Herbal Academy as an institute of alternative medicine for the general public, delivering a variety of courses completely online to allow for remote learning.
The courses offered at the academy, designed by Patrick, were produced during the lockdown months – and now the work is ready to be presented to the public.
The Herbal Academy itself was developed to use a unique blend of Western Herbal Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine to learn how to create a range of holistic treatments for common ailments.
And, as Patrick points out, all of this can be safely used alongside medical treatments, if necessary.
His philosophy in his work is to ‘cleanse, nourish and heal’ – and that is woven through the course material, which he has written and which is accredited by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.
It’s the latest career evolution for Patrick Murphy, who as the Skin Herbalist, provided his first herbal remedies to his patients back in 1995 – with good results.
Then as different ailments emerged in his patients, he would accommodate them by using new herbal formulas, again with marked success. These formulas worked well with subsequent patients that they became standard.
His true philosophy is ‘getting to the root cause of the disorder’, helping him to create healing tonic herbals. These herbs help the body overcome disease by strengthening through cleansing and nourishing.
Patrick’s ultimate vision is to cleanse and nourish so the body can heal, using wild crafted, organic herbs.
The Herbal Academy itself has a comprehensive mission statement.
It aims ‘to empower energy, wellbeing, and confidence, physically and mentally by imparting knowledge of healing, nourishing, and cleansing the body using natural, organic, earth-sourced sustainable herbs and supplements that focus on treating the root causes of ailments rather than just the symptoms’.
The Academy offers three courses – the Foundation Course; Herbal Home Remedies, and Colour Therapy.
Material on the Foundation Course is aimed to provide the basics in herbalism, that students can recognize and devise effective herbal treatments for themselves and others and to educate themselves in how to use herbal remedies for first aid use and how to use alongside mainstream medical treatments.
Participants will also gain the knowledge of distinguishing between supplements and their properties as well as learning to make their own effective herbal treatments for a range of common ailments including common colds, IBS and various skin conditions.
Those studying Herbal Home Remedies will learn of the herbal remedies available to treat an array of situations such as insomnia, infections, rashes, coughs, digestive issues, stings/bites, bruises, and joint problems amongst many others.
Students will learn to prepare these remedies using a range of fruits, spices, oils, and herbs-all ingredients that are completely natural and have been used and relied on for centuries to promote wellbeing and vitality.
Colour Therapy is used as part of medical practice for hundreds of years, colour therapy is an important element in the holistic approach to complimentary health practice.
In this course, people will identify and understand the need for certain colour themes in their lives and how to use it for healing, good health, relaxation and protection as well as learning how to use this therapy to compliment other therapies such as acupuncture, reflexology and aromatherapy.
“The Herbal Academy is delivered completely through online learning. No prior experience is necessary,” says Patrick Murphy.
“The courses can be accessed on the website instantly and offers a payment plan to spread the cost if needed. Upon completion, students will receive accredited certificates for each course.
“We have a special limited time offer in place from now until September 30 – if you order the Foundation Herbal Medicine Course, you get the Colour Therapy and Healing for free.”
Patrick also has his own herbal dispensary, stocking herbal remedies from highly reputable organic herbal suppliers. Mainly organic, bio dynamic and fresh herb tinctures are stocked.
Dried herbs which are always organic where possible, as well as pessaries, capsules and specifically made up creams, are also dispensed, when required.
Patrick helps people with common ailments such as arthritis, asthma, acne, eczema, Fibromyalgia, ME, constipation, digestive problems, heartburn, acid reflux, back pain, menopause and more.
We’re on the move – but we’re going nowhere!
This week marks the end of one major chapter in the history of the Connacht Tribune – and the start of a new one.
Because this is the last edition of this proud old newspaper to be produced from the Market Street offices where we’ve been from the Tribune’s inception in 1909.
From next week, we will be working from our new state-of-the-art offices in Liosban Business Park – or at least those not working remotely because of Covid restrictions will.
But while we’re on the move, in truth we’re going nowhere – because we are committed to covering everything that goes on in Galway now as our predecessors were back in 1909.
And by deploying the latest in technological advances, we aim to make that an even smoother journey from the source of the story to your homes and workplaces every week.
These are troubled times, not just for newspapers, but for all businesses; so this investment in a new base – complete with cutting-edge technology – is a real investment in our future and a vote of confidence in our staff and readers.
Covid has tested every one of us, not just in Galway or indeed in Ireland, but across the globe; we’ve seen such loss of life and such threat to livelihoods – and perhaps there’s much more to come.
But while we leave Market Street with memories and sadness, we also look forward to the brighter days ahead – as we do what we always did, which is to provide all the news, sport, features, entertainment and more as our colleagues have done over more than 110 years.
It’s the end of one chapter for sure, and the beginning of another – but this is a story that we know will just run and run.
Students asked to steer clear of house parties
Students returning to Galway for the start of the new term later this September have been urged to avoid house parties to help lower the risk of Covid-19 outbreaks.
The HSE has said that the majority of confirmed cases in the West in the past two weeks were linked to socialising.
The latest mini ‘surge’ of infection in Galway, though better than the national average, was worrying, according to Director of Public Health Dr Breda Smyth.
“We have been growing incrementally at a very low rate but at a steady pace. In the West we’ve been doing well in our overall 14-day incidence rate compared to national levels but even withstanding that we are seeing an increase and it has started since late August.
“It has been rising slowly and in the last two weeks in particular we’ve seen a surge,” she said.
Dr Smyth said third level institutes have initiatives in place to reduce the spread of infection.
“But once again what we have seen and will continue to see is that if students congregate in crowded areas – so, high volumes of house parties and socialisation, which is reducing social distancing – then there’s a high risk that we will start to see outbreaks in that community. It is important that students do also take personal responsibility while at college to reduce the risk of outbreaks,” she said.
For full story – and Covid-19 coverage – see this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in all shops now. Or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie