A 48-year-old Cork woman has gone on trial charged with murdering her husband in Macroom and it was claimed that he sustained 28 stab wounds – up to four of them being potentially fatal.
Rita O’Driscoll of Bridge Street, Bandon, County Cork, pleaded not guilty to the murder of 44-year-old Timmy Foley at 12 Dan Corkery Place, Macroom, County Cork, on October 8 2018. She also denied assault causing serious harm to the deceased man’s brother, Jason Foley.
Siobhán Lankford prosecution senior counsel opened the case to the jury of seven women and five men stating, “Some of you may feel very sorry for the deceased. Some of you may feel very sorry for the man who says he was injured. Some of you may feel sorry for the accused. This is a case likely to stir emotions and make people feel compassionate but you must put those feelings aside and judge it without fear or favour. It is a case where people might have strong views one way or another,” Ms Lankford said.
The prosecution senior counsel outlined the evidence she expected the prosecution would prove but stressed that her outline was not itself evidence.
“Jason Foley is the brother of Timmy Foley. Timmy Foley is Rita O’Driscoll’s former husband. The three people are interconnected in that way.
“Rita O’Driscoll was admitted to Cork University Hospital psychiatric ward on September 21 2018 and discharged on October 5. When discharged the psychiatrist said she was coherent, calm and relaxed and exhibited no thoughts of self-harm or suicidal ideation.
“Having been discharged she travelled to Macroom and went to the home of her former brother-in-law, Jason Foley. Jason Foley had an acquired brain injury in the past and had a panic button. At that time Timmy Foley was in the house with him.
“Rita O’Driscoll came down to the house on October 7. The relationship between Rita O’Driscoll and Timmy Foley is one you have to consider.
“She brought alcohol with her. They had some drinks. They possibly had some food. There was an evening in the house. Sometime after midnight there was a fracas in the house. I think I am safe in saying there was an argument, pushing, shoving, fisticuffs and so on, a verbal altercation. These exchanges were heated.” The alarm was raised through the panic button at the house at 1.40 a.m. and the gardaí arrived.
“They found a very fraught scene. There was a lot of blood. Rita O’Driscoll was outside the house. She was bleeding. She had sustained two stab wounds to her left arm and some cut or laceration to her face.
“In the property there was a lot of blood. Jason Foley was clearly injured. He had sustained stab wounds to the right side of his neck, the base of his lung, his kidney and liver. He had a number of stab wounds.
“Timmy Foley was very clearly extremely unwell. There was a lot of blood around him. He had difficulty breathing. He was still alive when the gardaí arrived. He was mortally wounded. He died that night,” Ms Lankford said.
The accused woman alleged on the night that she had been attacked and her allegations were investigated.
The house was designated a crime scene. A black handled knife with DNA matches for the blood of the accused and the deceased was found in the cistern of a toilet in the house, Ms Lankford alleged.
It was anticipated by the prosecution that the pathologist would say the deceased sustained 28 stab wounds – up to four of them described as potentially fatal. Some of the wounds were described as defensive.
It is expected that the trial before Ms Justice Eileen Creedon and the jury at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork will last two weeks or longer.