State sued over Roche Kelly murder


THE husband of a woman murdered in a Limerick hotel is suing the Minister for Justice, the Garda Commissioner and the State for over €4m because the man convicted of the killing should have been in custody.

Sylvia Roche Kelly was murdered on December 8, 2007 after she was out socialising with family and friends celebrating her 33rd birthday. The mother of a 12 year-old son and four-year-old daughter ran an art gallery in Sixmilebridge and lived nearby.

Events leading up to her murder are under fresh scrutiny after a dossier given to Fianna Fáil leader Michael Martin by Garda whistleblower Sergeant Maurice McCabe were passed on to the Taoiseach last week.

The lawsuit taken by her husband Lorcan alleges that Jerry McGrath, the man convicted of the murder, was “free to commit the crime of murder, when he should have been in custody”.

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He maintains that his late wife’s death was caused by neglect and default on the part of Gardaí who dealt with McGrath, before and after her killing.

The murder investigation does not form part of these proceedings but it does relate to the circumstances when the killer was released on bail before the killing.

The cost of caring for Ms Roche Kelly’s children, including a son from a previous relationship who has autism and requires special care, is estimated by actuaries at close to €4 million.