Man jailed for life for murder of woman whose body was dismembered

Patricia O’Connor’s siblings ‘still in disbelief’ at grandmother’s ‘cruel and brutal murder’

Patricia O’Connor. Her dismembered remains were found scattered across the Dublin and Wicklow mountains three years ago.

Patricia O’Connor. Her dismembered remains were found scattered across the Dublin and Wicklow mountains three years ago.

 

A 35-year-old man has been sentenced to life in prison for murdering a retired hospital worker whose dismembered remains were found scattered across the Dublin and Wicklow mountains three years ago.

Kieran Greene (35) was found guilty last February by a Central Criminal Court jury of inflicting “catastrophic injuries” on Patricia O’Connor (61) in a sustained attack in the bathroom of her Rathfarnham home.

Greene had his sentence adjourned on April 20th until Monday in light of the Covid-19 restrictions.

Kieran Greene: jailed for life for the murder of Patricia O’Connor.
Kieran Greene: jailed for life for the murder of Patricia O’Connor.

The deceased’s daughter Louise O’Connor (41), her granddaughter Stephanie O’Connor (22) and Keith Johnston (43) were each found guilty in February of impeding the apprehension or prosecution of Greene, knowing or believing him to have murdered Mrs O’Connor on May 29th, 2017.

Patricia’s husband Augustine ‘Gus’ O’Connor (76) was originally part of the trial but shortly before it began in January, he pleaded guilty to reporting his wife as a missing person to gardaí at Rathfarnham Garda Station, Dublin 14 on June 1st, 2017, knowing she was already dead.

All four were present in court for their sentence hearings after also having them adjourned last April.

The Central Criminal Court heard victim impact statements on Monday from Patricia O’Connor’s sister and son.

Richard O’Connor began by saying: “Devastated, heartbroken and deceived, there are only a few words to describe how I’ve felt about the murder of my mum since the 29th May 2017.”

Richard O’Connor with his wife Martina arriving at the court on Monday where he gave his victim impact statement. Photograph: Collins Courts
Richard O’Connor with his wife Martina arriving at the court on Monday where he gave his victim impact statement. Photograph: Collins Courts

“My ability to have trust in people has changed. To process the amount of lies told to me by those who were my close family has led to many sleepless nights. The constant questions I ask myself, could I have prevented this? Why didn’t I see the deceit around me? How could people I called family do such an unspeakable act?”

He also said that throughout the trial his mother was portrayed in a “despicable way, trying to make out that she was a horrible person which I, her family and friends knew she was not.”

A second victim impact statement was read to the court by Mrs O’Connor’s sister, Collette Barry, on behalf of her brothers and sisters.

A second victim impact statement was read to the court by Collette Barry, a sister of the deceased, Patricia O’ Connor. Photograph: Collins Courts
A second victim impact statement was read to the court by Collette Barry, a sister of the deceased, Patricia O’ Connor. Photograph: Collins Courts

Ms Barry said they are “still in disbelief of her cruel and brutal murder. We were all sickened to find out who was involved in her murder”.

She added: “The lies that were told, the cruel cover-up of her murder; it has been shocking and utterly disgusting to sit through out the seven week trial to see all of their faces with no emotion of any kind.”

“We were deeply hurt by how Patricia’s character was so cruelly tarnished by their spiteful lies. The people who truly knew her, her sisters, brothers, friends, work colleagues, her neighbours, will defend her kind, caring, loving nature, a jolly woman who sang out loud as she went about her day. They can never take those previous memories away from us,” she said.

“We are still trying to come to terms with the brutal and violent way her life came to a very sad end. Trisha we love you always.”

After hearing the two statements, Mr Justice Paul McDermott sentenced Greene to the mandatory term of life imprisonment for murder. The sentence was backdated to June 15th, 2017, when he went into custody.

The judge said he has been given a great deal to consider and he would sentence the four other defendants on Friday.

Greene had pleaded not guilty to murdering the retired hospital worker at her home in Mountainview Park, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14 on May 29th, 2017.

The jury accepted the prosecution’s case that Greene bludgeoned the retired hospital worker to death with a hurley and that his claim of self-defence “did not hold any water”.

They rejected the defence’s claim that Mrs O’Connor’s husband had killed his wife using a crowbar and Greene had taken the blame.

The seven-week trial heard Mrs O’Connor was dismembered. Fifteen separate parts of her body were found at nine different locations over a 30km range in the Dublin and Wicklow mountains between June 10th and 14th, 2017.