GAA player's killer may be held in custody indefinitely


THE SELF-CONFESSED killer of former Fermanagh GAA player Ciaran Woods was told yesterday that while he will serve at least five years, he will also face the prospect of being in custody indefinitely unless he can convince the Parole Board he should be released.

Enniskillen Crown Court, sitting in Belfast, had heard Gary Philip Moane (36), did not know Mr Woods and had latched on to his party to get more drink when he stabbed him twice during a drunken row in the early hours of July 20th, 2010, in which a woman was also later stabbed and injured.

Belfast recorder David McFarland told Moane, of Lisolvan Park, Brookeborough, that he could not be certain Moane could keep his promise never to drink again, so it would be up to the Parole Board to decide if, and when, the father of five should be freed.

Judge McFarland said reports on Moane indicated that when sober he represented a minimum risk to the public, but with drink taken that risk was greatly inflated, and as such he regarded him as a posing a significant risk of danger to the public.

Originally charged with murdering the 36-year-old Lisnaskea man, Moane later had his guilty plea to manslaughter accepted on the basis he was suffering an abnormality of the mind when he first attacked Mr Woods.

He stabbed him twice in the chest and then turned the knife on Kathleen McQuaid (37), at her Edenmore Road home in Tempo.

Moane, who also admitted threatening to kill another man, Damian Crudden, had been accused of attempting to murder Ms McQuaid, but this too was dropped when he pleaded to the lesser charge of wounding.

Prosecutor Margaret-Ann Dinsmore QC had told the court that Moane, suffering from alcohol-dependence syndrome, had met up with Mr Woods and a number of his friends drinking in the Stag’s Head bar in Lisnaskea.

Later that evening they decided to move on to a bar in Brookborough, but were refused entry because it was late. At this stage an impromptu party was set up in Ms McQuaid’s Tempo home.

At one stage Moane and Mr Woods were alone in the kitchen and Ms McQuaid heard the latter plead: “Don’t, don’t, don’t be doing that . . . I’ve got a seven-year-old daughter, don’t be doing this.”

When she went into the kitchen she found Mr Woods standing with blood coming from his T-shirt. He told her: “I’ve been stabbed.”

She locked herself in her car and Mr Crudden hid nearby as Moane reportedly kept going in and out of the house, making threatening gestures and shouting: “Come and see your friend now.”

Moane later forced Ms McQuaid back into the kitchen after smashing the car window with a vodka bottle. During a struggle she was stabbed twice, but managed to escape and run to a neighbour’s house.

As she did so Moane made off in her black Hyundai Getz, which police later forced off the road.

Defence QC Eilis McDermott this week revealed that up until meeting Mr Woods and his friends in the Lisnaskea bar they had been complete strangers to Moane.

Ms McDermott said Moane’s desire to continue drinking led him to latch on to Mr Woods and his friends. She said when the party arrived at Ms McQuaid’s home he “did not know where he was” and wanted to get a taxi, when for some reason the drunken argument broke out.

Ms McDermott said Moane picked up a knife from the sink and in an “alcohol-induced frenzy” carried out the stabbings.

She said Moane wished to publicly apologise, realising by his actions he had taken Mr Woods’ life. Moane, she said, was now a man driven by remorse, who’d taken every opportunity in prison to turn his life around and had vowed never to drink again.