Court told of murder accused of murder holding wife


A man accused of murdering his wife was found holding her, lying in a pool of blood, saying: "Sorry, sorry, I love you, Sheila."

Mr James (Jimmy) McDonagh (28), of Slieve Foy Park, Muirhevnamore, Dundalk, Co Louth, has pleaded not guilty to murdering his wife, Ms Sheila McDonagh (26), outside their home on September 12th, 1997.

Garda Adrian Donohue told the jury in the Central Criminal Court that he found Mr McDonagh lying on the floor and holding his wife when he arrived at the family home following a call to Dundalk Garda station.

"I knew him to be Jimmy McDonagh," Garda Donohue said. "I heard him say, `Sorry sorry, I love you, I love you Sheila.' I cautioned Mr McDonagh and he replied: `I didn't do nothing'."

Det Garda Charlie Geoghegan said Mr McDonagh had been "very nervous and very frightened" after the incident.

When Mr McDonagh arrived at Dundalk Garda station for questioning, he was found to be "dripping in blood", with his "clothes, hands, face and boots covered in blood".

During interviews, Mr McDonagh told gardai that although he was there at the time of the incident, he did not stab his wife; that the stabbing was "meant for" him and that it was an "accident", the jury was told.

At one point in an interview, Mr McDonagh allegedly said he did not know who had stabbed his wife because at the moment she was stabbed, he had taken a "blackout".

In Mr McDonagh's statement to gardai, he said: "I didn't do it, but it was an accident. If my wife dies I'll hang myself," the court heard.

In one interview, Mr McDonagh allegedly said: "Sheila pulled a knife. I forced her over a small wall. Sheila jumped up off the wall real quick and came back against me. When she did, the knife went into her."

The trial continues today.