‘I was crying over her, begging her to wake up’

‘I was crying over her, begging her to wake up’
Amy McCarthy: Accused found her dead beside him.

A MIDLETON man who admits manslaughter but denies murdering his 22-year-old girlfriend told gardaí he woke in a squat with her dead beside him and he said, “I was crying over her, begging her to wake up.”

Adam O'Keeffe: Accused of murdering Amy McCarthy
Adam O'Keeffe: Accused of murdering Amy McCarthy

He said he exploded when she admitted cheating on him when he was in prison for nine months.

He admitted causing all the injuries found on her but – apart from shoving her once – could not remember inflicting any of the injuries.

“She never deserved me hitting her. I would never say she was asking for it. She was a small girl. I should have been protecting her,” Adam O’Keeffe, aged 27, told gardaí in the course of interviews.

While he could not remember any of the assault on her he described it himself as vicious.

“The last thing I remember is her admitting she cheated… Next thing I remember she was dead. Why didn’t they (others in the squat that night) stop me. It shouldn’t have happened,” he said.

“Did you kill Amy?” the accused man was asked in the Bridewell Garda station.

“Yeah,” he replied. “I did not mean for it to happen,” he said, adding that he did not intend to kill her or cause her serious harm.

“It is the biggest regret I have. I am sorry to her family. She is the love of my life, my soulmate, the mother of my small fella. If I could change places with her I would. I really did not mean for any of this to happen,” he said.

Detective Garda Aoife Hayes was in the witness box for most of yesterday confirming the memos of interviews of Adam O’Keeffe read to the jury by Seán Gillane SC to Ms Justice Eileen Creedon and the jury at the Central Criminal Court in Cork.

Adam O’Keeffe admitted manslaughter but pleaded not guilty to the murder of Amy McCarthy, aged 22, on April 29, 2017, or April 30, 2017, at 36 Sheares Street.

A teenager who was with the couple earlier in the day gave evidence by video link and described Amy as being sober and happy at one time in the afternoon and kind of nervous at another. She recalled the accused man writing on a gate in Cork city, “Adam loves Amy forever. Amy loves Adam forever.” Asked about his own childhood, Adam O’Keeffe said his father gave him a few bad beatings as a child and that he hated his father.

Describing his feelings for the late Amy McCarthy, whom he referred to at various stages as, his wife, missus, beoir and the love of his life. “I was never as close to someone as I was to her.”

He said that when he woke up on the Sunday morning in the squat with Amy beside him he gave her mouth-to-mouth and CPR but she was cold and blue and stiff.

He squeezed her and thought he heard breaths coming out of her.

O’Keeffe said he was so drunk that night he was trying to roll joints in the squat but couldn’t see which end of the cigarette papers had the sticky side for licking.

“She (Amy) said I was like a knacker with drink. I said, ‘what’s your problem, you couldn’t even wait nine months for me and you were telling people you were my wife’,” he said, adding that she eventually admitted that she had cheated on him when he was in prison for nine months.

While he said he blanked out and could not remember assaulting her he said, “I put my hands up, I did something for this to happen. I was capable of doing it. No one else. I knew she was cheating. I exploded. I do believe I did something. I put her where she is today.

“You are responsible for killing Amy,” a garda interviewer said.

He replied: “I did not mean it. She is the love of my life, the mother of my child. I cannot believe it.”

Asked about his first account of being on another floor of the house and coming down on the Sunday morning to find Amy dead, he accepted this account was not true.

“I did not want them (gardaí) to think I done it. For me, I did not want to think I done it,” he said.

He apologised to the family of the late Amy McCarthy several times during interviews and in his own words described the attack on her as, “disgraceful, scummy, outrageous.”

As for their relationship, he said: “We loved each other, we were all over the place too.”

The trial continues today.

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