The woman accused of murdering her ex-husband shouted when gardaí and paramedics were assisting the deceased, “Get back up and fight for your life”.
She added that her ex-husband had stabbed her on seven previous occasions.
Rita O’Driscoll of Bridge Street, Bandon, County Cork, denies the murder of 44-year-old Timmy Foley at 12 Dan Corkery Place, Macroom, County Cork, on October 8 2018 and assault causing serious harm to the deceased man’s brother, Jason Foley.
Garda Padraig Dennehy arrived at the scene with his colleague Garda Siobhán O’Dowd and said today that he saw Timmy Foley lying on the floor.
“His eyes were open. He was very pale and very unresponsive… There was a lot of blood around the back of Timmy Foley’s head and around his body and a lot of blood at his feet,” Garda Dennehy said.
He said that gardaí had to stop the accused woman from going back into the house.
“She was asking to go into the house for her glasses and cigarettes,” he said. “She was shouting, ‘Get back up and fight for your life. He stabbed me seven times in the past.”
Roderick O’Hanlon defence SC said, “She is subject to bi-polar effective disorder which leaves people feeling extreme troughs of depression and also elation. A lay person would describe her as hyper.”
Garda O’Dowd said that when she was taking a cautioned memo of questions and answers outside the house with the accused she would give an answer and then take the guard’s notebook and pen out of her hands without being asked and she would sign her name. She did this a number of times and appeared to be hyper, the garda testified.
At one stage she said to Garda O’Dowd, “He stabbed me seven times before. I relived the moments in the mental hospital. I was afraid of him… I am afraid of him no more. I don’t care if I live or die.”
Mr O’Hanlon SC said that when the accused was informed that Timmy Foley had died, she replied, “He couldn’t be dead. I didn’t kill him.”
Detective Sergeant Ann Murphy confirmed this.
Mr O’Hanlon said Rita O’Driscoll went on to say she stuck a knife in him in self-defence but did not stab him repeatedly.
“Timmy put a knife to my head. I grabbed it, turned it and stuck it in him. It was self-defence. I did not stab him repeatedly,” the accused said.
Later in hospital, Rita O’Driscoll told a member of medical staff that Jason Foley attacked her in the kitchen when she was making dinner and she threw hot water at him and some of it splashed on Timmy Foley who reacted by putting a steak knife to her head.
She said that when Timmy put the knife to her head she took it off him and stuck it in him in self-defence.
Opening the case last Thursday, Siobhán Lankford, prosecution senior counsel said Timmy Foley sustained 28 stab wounds, up to four of the wounds being potentially life-threatening.
His brother, Jason Foley, said that as a result of a pre-existing brain injury he was unable to use his left hand and left leg.
The trial continues tomorrow at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork before Ms Justice Eileen Creedon and a jury of seven women and five men.