Woman’s wound needed 45 stitches and 30 staples after graveyard attack that killed husband, court hears

Trial of six men charged with murder of Thomas Dooley hears of ‘serious injury’ to wife Siobhán Dooley’s shoulder

Thomas Dooley died in the attack during which Siobhán Dooley was also wounded.

A woman sustained a 12in wound requiring 45 stitches and 30 staples after an incident in a graveyard in Tralee, Co Kerry, during which her husband died, a court has heard.

Six men are on trial at a sitting of the Central Criminal Court in Cork charged with the murder of Thomas Dooley at New Rath Cemetery, Rathass, Tralee, on October 5th, 2022. Dooley was a 42-year-old father of seven.

The accused in the case include: Patrick Dooley (36) of Arbutus Grove, Killarney; Daniel Dooley (42) of An Carraigín, Connolly Park, Tralee; Thomas Dooley snr (43); Thomas Dooley jnr (21); Michael Dooley (29) of Carrigrohane Road, Cork; and a teenager who cannot be named for legal reasons.

Patrick is the brother of the late Thomas Dooley. Three of the other defendants are first cousins of the deceased. All six have pleaded not guilty to the murder of Thomas Dooley.


Thomas Dooley jnr also pleaded not guilty to a charge of intentionally or recklessly causing harm to Siobhán Dooley at Rath Cemetery on the same date.

On Friday the court heard that Mrs Dooley was taken to University Hospital Kerry (UHK) for treatment after she incurred injuries at Rath Cemetery.

The court heard from hospital registrar Muhammad Essa who said that Mrs Dooley had sustained a “serious injury”.

He said she had what appeared to be a 30cm (1ft) wound on the back of her shoulder.

“You could see the fatty tissue. It had gone to the layer under the skin. There was a dressing on the wound (administered by paramedics.) The blood, of course, was soaking the gauze. It was oozing blood,” he said.

He said that the wound went from the right shoulder of Mrs Dooley and extended to her armpit.

“It was not shredded. It was a clear cut. It happened (was caused) by something sharp.”

Dr Essa told Ms Justice Mary Ellen Ring and the jury that he gave Mrs Dooley 45 stitches and 30 staples.

“The staples were used because stitches wouldn’t hold it together. Staples are stronger and faster.”

He said that Mrs Dooley was informed of the death of her husband Thomas while she was in hospital.

“We talked about the passing of her husband; she was very distressed. It was very sad, we had to give her some sedation to calm her down.

Evidence was also given in the case from scenes of crime examiner Garda Brian Hayles who attended at the cemetery on the date of the incident.

Garda Hayles said the scene was preserved for examination. He noted that there was a large pool of blood on a pathway in the cemetery.

A search was carried out of the cemetery. Items recovered included a black sheath for a large knife found on a nearby grave and a Lucozade bottle with a “blood-like” substance on it.

The case continues on Monday.