01 December 2005

Holohan murder accused 'contemplated suicide'


01/12/2005 - 17:51:49

Wayne O’Donoghue contemplated suicide on the day that he killed his next door neighbour, 11-year-old Robert Holohan, a judge and jury at the Central Criminal Court were told in Cork this afternoon.

O’Donoghue was in a state of panic and was contemplating suicide, the court was told. He could not go through with it that afternoon, within minutes of killing the child.

He decided to get rid of the body first and then kill himself later by hanging himself from a tree in the garden when everyone was gone to bed.

It was 12 days before Wayne O’Donoghue (aged 21) broke down and confessed to gardaí that he killed Robert.

“I am deeply sorry for what has happened. Robert was my friend, he was like a brother to me. If I could switch roles with him I would. There was never any intention to harm him. What happened was a fluke or accident. I am sorry I did not come forward to explain what happened earlier,” he stated.

Wayne O’Donoghue of Ballyedmond, Midleton, has admitted manslaughter and is on trial on a charge of murdering Robert Holohan on January 4, at the Central Criminal Court in Cork.

He made several statements to gardaí during the course of the search and investigation.

Looking at the front page coverage of Robert’s funeral in a local shop he could not bear it any longer and went home to confess to his dad, Ray, that he had killed Robert. The gardaí were called to his home, as was solicitor, Frank Buttimer.

Over the course of seven hours, Wayne O’Donoghue made a detailed confession about what he did on January 4.

Wayne and his father both cried as the accused confessed for the first time.

Before he said what he did, he blurted out repeatedly to his father in their home: “I love you, I’m sorry, it was an accident.”

He told his dad that Robert was throwing stones at his car and at the back of his head after he refused to take him to McDonald’s for a milkshake.

“I asked him to go. I gave him a nudge. I pulled him away from his bike. I put my right hand around his neck. I grabbed him by the throat with my left hand and said will you stop throwing the f**king stones.

"I could not say how long I had my left hand to his throat. When I took my hand away he fell down.

“I don’t know how long I held him. It seemed very short. I didn’t mean to cause him any harm or injury. I called, ‘Rob’. There was no response. I had no problem lifting him. I brought him in the front door (it was around 3.30pm and nobody else was home). I laid him on the bathroom floor.

“I called his name a few times I threw some water on his face. I listened for breathing. At this stage I believe he may have died.

“(In the kitchen) I took out a black handled knife. I was in complete shock and panic. I cannot describe my feelings. My intention was to cut my throat. I went back to the bathroom. I went to the mirror. I put the knife to my throat. I looked at Robert. I dropped my hand with the knife to my side,” he
said in his statement.

He put two black bags over the body and drove it away in the boot of the car and disposed of it in a remote area of very rough ground near Inch strand.

On the way he threw the BMX bike on the side of a ditch in another area.

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