Family of murdered Dundalk woman seek ‘mastermind’ to be prosecuted

Killer and ‘middle man’ have now been convicted but ‘mastermind remains elusive’, says solicitor

Jennifer McBride, daughter of murdered Louth woman, Irene White, leaving court on Monday. Photograph: Collins Courts

Jennifer McBride, daughter of murdered Louth woman, Irene White, leaving court on Monday. Photograph: Collins Courts

 

The terminally-ill sister of Irene White has called on the DPP to use its “sufficient” evidence to prosecute the “mastermind” behind what’s said to be “the most brutal attack on a female leading to a murder in the history of the State”.

It follows the sentencing to life of her killer and “the middle man”, who said that they were acting under the instructions of another man.

Anne Delcassian could not be in court on Monday to see that middle man sentenced to life in prison for her sister’s murder; she has weeks to live due to cancer.

However, her husband, Kenny Delcassian, attended with her solicitor, Kevin Winters, who spoke to the media outside the Central Criminal Court, following the sentencing of Niall Power.

Kenneth Delcassian (right), brother-in-law of murdered Louth woman, Irene White, leaving court on Monday with his solicitor, Kevin Winters, after Niall Power was sentenced to life for murder. Photograph: Collins Courts
Kenneth Delcassian (right), brother-in-law of murdered Louth woman, Irene White, leaving court on Monday with his solicitor, Kevin Winters, after Niall Power was sentenced to life for murder. Photograph: Collins Courts

Power (46), with an address at Giles Quay, Riverstown, Dundalk, Co Louth was the second man to be given a life sentence for murdering the mother of three 14 years ago. The father of four pleaded guilty to the murder at Ice House, Demesne Road, Dundalk, Co Louth on April 6th 2005.

He had handed himself into gardaí last year, the day after the knife attacker had been sentenced to life for the same crime. Power described himself to gardaí as the middle man.

The man, who actually stabbed Ms White to death, Anthony Lambe (35), of Annadrumman, Castleblayney, Co Monaghan, was jailed for life last January after he pleaded guilty to murder.

Reacting after Power’s sentencing on Monday, Mr Winters noted that two people had now been convicted by the court, “the killer” and “the so-called middleman”.

“But we’ve yet to find and have prosecuted the mastermind to the killing of Irene White. So, the mastermind remains elusive,” he said. “We say, on behalf of my client, that the gardaí and the DPP actually have the evidence; they have circumstantial evidence.”

‘Most brutal attack’

He said the authorities now had sufficient information and evidence to prosecute the mastermind.

He commented that Ms White’s daughter Jennifer McBride had spoken very poignantly in court.

Irene White died of 34 stab wounds in the kitchen of her home, the Ice House, Demesne Road, on April 6th, 2005
Irene White died of 34 stab wounds in the kitchen of her home, the Ice House, Demesne Road, on April 6th, 2005

“This case has been described as the most brutal attack on a female leading to a murder in the history of the State: 34 stabs of the deceased,” he said. “We would say that now is the time; it’s long overdue to make the story complete and to have that third prosecution.”

In a victim impact statement read earlier in court, Ms Delcassian said her dying wish was for “all responsible” for her sister’s killing to be brought to justice.

She said that it had taken the conviction of his accomplice for Power to be finally charged.

“Over the last 15 years, you have been hiding like a coward,” she said, questioning how a family man could organise the ruthless murder of a single mother.

She said that her beautiful sister had been cruelly murdered and that this had caused enormous trauma and illness for her.

“I’m currently diagnosed with terminal cancer,” she said, explaining that she had only weeks to live.

“It’s my dying wish that you and all responsible are brought to justice,” she concluded.

Ms McBride, then entered the witness box to deliver a victim impact statement.

She said that the man standing before the court was not any stranger to her family but was at one time “a close family friend”, who had been welcomed into their home.

‘Last goodbye to mam’

Ms McBride described going to school as normal on the morning of April 6th 2005, not knowing this would be her “last goodbye to my mam”. Their home had been filled with peace, tranquillity, love and laughter in the months before the murder but that was to be short lived. She was called out of class and told her mother had passed away. She felt shock, numbness. “I was completely heartbroken.”

Following her mother’s death she went to live with her grandmother and was separated from her two siblings, who went to live with their father. Then tragedy struck again when her grandmother died six months later “from a broken heart” having never recovered from finding Irene’s body. She was again left grieving and homeless.

She remembered her mother as a spiritual person who is often described by her many friends as the “life and soul of the party”. She remembered the many good times with her mother and felt guilt and sorrow that her younger siblings were robbed of those moments and their mother’s unconditional love.

She became emotional when recalling her journey to get access to her siblings the following year. She had seen this as a light at the end of the tunnel as she approached 18 years of age. She, her siblings and her young daughter share a strong bond, she said.

Alan White, husband of murdered Louth woman Irene White leaving court on Monday after the hearing. Photograph: Collins Courts
Alan White, husband of murdered Louth woman Irene White leaving court on Monday after the hearing. Photograph: Collins Courts

Ms White’s husband Alan White also attended Monday’s hearing and spoke briefly to reporters as he left. At the sentencing of Lambe in January 2018, Mr White said he was in shock when he heard that someone had been hired to kill his wife.

“We got the result we needed,” he then said after leaving the court.