The Kilkenny Journal

Monday, 24th July 2017
Latest Edition

Tuesday, 30 August 2016 15:34



But Hawe had the mind of a monster .


The Kilkenny Journal acknowledges all the understanding talk about Mr. Hawe and how he was formerly , but then he developed the mind of a monster who murdered his own wife and family in cold blood. 

This was the brutal, bloody and savage slaughter of his own loving family by a maniac. It was a cruel, evil and horrific deed that sickens everybody to the stomach. The man whose loving family trusted most in the world hacked them to pieces in a nightmarish orgy of death. There is great evil upon the Land, something terrible is happening to Ireland.

Somehow this morbidity set into his mind, somehow deciding he wanted out but wanted to bring his wife and three boys with him. Somehow his tormented mind decided that they shouldn't go on to live and he knifed them to death. His own suicide can be understood, but his murder of his wife and three boys was a horrible and monstrous deed, a real sickener from a mind of a man who can only be seen as a monster.

We need a serious programme in mental health to tackle suicide in Ireland. Our mental hospitals are wasted on treating alcoholics and the like while serious cases of depression such as this are left untreated. Many psychiatrists earn too much but do too little here in Ireland. Their pursuit of any old drunk is relentless while potential suicides are ignored. And the fact is that drunks do not commit suicide, that is one solid and clear fact that is obvious.

As Matt Doran says, Hawe was a quiet man, he didn't drink to excess, he wasn't a cannabis used either, he didn't take any drugs. So why all the war on Cannabis either while we have this serious deviation towards suicide in Ireland. Soft drugs need not actually be legalised but the massive manhunt against users should be called off, likewise alcoholics should no longer be a priority such as they are in our psychiatric hospitals and all our forces should be concentrated on this national inclination to suicide in Ireland. Hawe didn't drink or smoke dope!

We must not bury this awful tragedy in soft talk about Hawe. He is a man who murdered his own wife and family , he hadn't the decency to go on his own. If we have lovely talk now about Hawe others may be encouraged to do the same, God forbid. We must describe Alan Hawe as a monster because that is exactly what he was , and thus deter others. Sentimental slobbery has done enough damage in Ireland, . We have to face up to it and call a spade a spade. Hawe was a monster and we fervently hope and pray that there is none other like him out there somewhere....

And there is no future in listening to such soft talk on the national airwaves as you hear from the likes of Joe Duffy - that only encourages such incidents , making us a nation of sentimental slobs. The national broadcaster has to take a more firm line recognising such horrible realities and not virtually condoning these murderous incidents to the nation as shows such as Lifeline have done for years. We have to responsibly face up to reality in this country.

The small close-knit community of Windgap, Co Kilkenny is reeling after Alan Hawe, a local teacher and former GAA handball champion, has been identified as the…


Published in Front

Lunatic stabber runs amok through Kilkenny city centre this afternoon!

It happened in the Market Cross shopping centre just before 3pm.
Published in Front


by Michael McGrath.

Irish legal system obstructs reporters and photographers.

"Ireland's legal system is less transparent than Panama's - and journalists who try to report fairly and accurately are thwarted at every turn. "
Thus spake INM executive Dearbhuill MacDonald as she addressed the Bar of Ireland's annual conference in Kilkenny on Saturday in reply to Michael O'Higgins SC who had criticised "sensationalist " coverage of high profile trials such as that of murderer Graham Dwyer. And as murder has reared its ugly head here in the Kilkenny courts in recent times we find it an appropriate and opportune time to open this debate to the public and indeed to the notice of the Dail and the next government.

Local media reporting of the court has suffered from total obstruction of photographers at the new Kilkenny Courthouse since the ultra-modern building was completed and is in operation. They drive in and out through the new gates to the courthouse cells via the Market Yard in prison vans or police cars with blacked-out windows and the photographers haven't a hope of a shot of the criminals . Fair enough where unconvicted suspects are concerned, but the media must be allowed to secure the photos of dangerous convicted felons so the public will know who they are and take precautions if they approach their homes or their lives. . We find all this Garda protection of hardened criminals to be typical of a nanny state approach. It's not fair to the reporters and photographers charged with doing a job, a job they do well within all the limitations for the good of society.

Ms. McDonald, the former legal editor of the Irish Independent newspapers rightly said that the Irish system saw journalists as the enemy and made it incredibly difficult to access documents that were readily available in other countries. 
The justice systems in the UK and the USA had provisions to allow journalists and members of the public to electronically access court documents - but in Ireland reporters "need to rugby tackle a garda in the hallway" or rely on a friendly lawyer to get information", she continued. 
"This creates "layers of privilege " where only select journalists get the documentation. I've attempted to access legal systems in foreign countries such as India, Vanuatu and Panama - and I've come to the conclusion that it's easier at times to navigate the shadowy legal system of Panama than it is to navigate p-art of our own justice system" , she declared.

However, leading barrister Michael O'Higgins SC , who had previously represented former Anglo Irish Bank CEO Sean Fitzpatrick, used the Kilkenny conference to criticize publicity surrounding high profile trials.

He said that certain elements of the media put Graham Dwyer's life in danger by publishing prejudicial material after Dwyer's arrest. He said that in the 18 months it took the DPP to charge Dwyer with Elaine O'Hara's murder, Gardai "relentlessly leaked information to the media". He charged that "at some stages the media knew more about the case than Dwyer's defence solicitor. "


Allowing cameras into irish courtrooms would not lead to nightly "football style" commentary on trials like that seen during the O.J. Simpson case, a leading legal commentator said in Kilkenny .

Joshua Rozenburg , Queens Counsel, who presents the BBC's "Law in Action" programme , told the bar of ireland's conference in the Lyrath Hotel at the weekend that Ireland's contempt laws are so strong that "play by play" analysis of trials would not be an issue even if cases were broadcast.

Mr. Rozenburg covered the O.J. Simpson trial for the BBC back in 1994 and said that it had a huge effect on the debate on cameras in courts over here.

"The case was discussed every night on US TV like a football match - you wouldn't get that over on this side of the ocean", he said.

But leading Scottish barrister Gordon Jackson QC told the Kilkenny conference that he was against the presence of cameras in courts because he believes that lawyers may play up for the cameras and would become "adverts for themselves".

"Judges too might not be unaffected ", he concluded. And we think that some of the regulars at Kilkenny Court every Monday and Tuesday would love it.

That said we believe that photographers putting in a stint down at the courthouse should be allowed to do their duty and get photos of the criminals - but only after they are convicted.

The Kilkenny Journal's photo.
Published in Front
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 22:08


by Gerry O'Carroll.

It is difficult to find words to describe the scene of unimaginable horror that gardai came upon in the Hawe family home. During the frenzied attack Hawe wielded a knife and a hatchet to slaughter his helpless victims before taking his own life.

He left behind a note , part of which said he was taking his family with him because he did not think they would be able to cope without him.

To all appearances, Haw seemed a normal, ordinary, happily married man. He was vice-principal in the local school and an official in the GAA club. But the entire community are distraught, both in Ballyjamesduff and in Co. Kilkenny where Hawe came from, asking themselves a seemingly imponderable question : What could have turned a decent man into a demented killer?

It is a question we should be asking ourselves in the light of this unspeakable atrocity.

Murder-suicide is a relatively recent phenomenon i this coountry but this heinous crime is becoming all to common. 
Since 2000 there have been 28 murder-suicide cases involving the deaths of 40 children, spouses and partners. 
These are truly chilling statistics. It is almost an incomprehensible crime to most human beings, but sadly and alarmingly it is on the rise. The latest killings resulted in the greatest loss of life in this jurisdiction to date Despite the increasing prevalence of this shocking crime , little or no research has been carried out into what triggers the murderous impulses of those - mostly men - who murder their families. Only fifty per cent of the men involved had any history of mental illness. 
I think that society has found a convenient pigeon hole of mental illness to explain and excuse the vile and terrible crime of murder-suicide. 
We can no longer turn a blind eye or sweep under the carpet the horrendous and cold-blooded murders of innocent wives and children by blaming it all on mental illness. 
I find it incomprehensible that mass murders are laid to rest beside the bodies of their innocent victims. 
Time to call a spade a spade. 
The perpetrators of these vile and barbaric acts must be condemned for what they are - evil , sadistic mass murderers. 
( Journalist Gerry O'Carroll, pictured here, is a former Detective Sergeant in the Special Branch of An Garda Siochana who writes a great column for the Evening Herald) .

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Published in Front
Monday, 20 March 2017 14:32



The trial of a Kilkenny man charged with the murder of an elderly woman nearly thirty years ago is due to begin at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin on Wednesday.
John Joseph Malone (53) is charged with the murder of widow Ann Nancy Smith (79), at her home at Wolfe Tone Street on September 11, 1987.
Mr Malone of Newpark, Kilkenny pleaded not guilty, when arraigned before the Central Criminal Court this morning (Monday).
A jury of five women and seven men was then sworn in for the trial.

Image may contain: 1 person, close-up
Published in Front
Thursday, 13 April 2017 21:29


Congratulations to Kilkenny Gardai who pursued Malone for this  murder for  thirty years . Hopefully this will spur on the Gardai to re-investigate other cold case. People out admiring the new bridge tonight at the Harriers run through Kilkenny city welcomed the verdict wholeheartedly , some even remembered poor Nancy Smyth as we stood on the bridge just up the road from her house in Wolfe Tone Street. 

The victim's family have waited for thirty years for justice, and because it took so long it's doubly welcome.  The victim's family will make a statement later.  Our sympathies go to the Malone family too, members of which, including his brother and his wife ,  helped to convict him with their witness statements in court. 

Meanwhile John Joseph Malone commences a life sentence, which on average can be about 16 years in Ireland today . 

It's great to see a cold case solved. We have to thank the long arm of the law:

Published in Front

A witness has told a cold-case murder trial that she saw the accused banging on the door of a widowed pensioner while cursing at her, hours before her strangled body was found in her burning house. She said she hadn’t told gardai at the time because her mother told her not to get involved.

Geraldine Brennan was giving evidence to the Central Criminal Court yesterday (Monday) in the trial of a 53-year-old man accused of murdering her neighbour 30 years ago.

John Joseph Malone is charged with murdering 69-year-old Ann ‘Nancy’ Smyth on 11th September 1987 at her home on Wolfe Tone Street in Kilkenny City.

Mr Malone of Newpark in Kilkenny City has pleaded not guilty.

Ms Brennan testified that she was living with her baby and parents at the time, three doors down from Ms Smyth. Her parents have since passed away.

She said she went to bed after midnight on September 10th and heard shouting on the street some time after that. She said there was just one voice, a male voice, and that she and her parents went out onto the street.

“He was banging on the window and banging on the door, saying: ‘Let me into the f***ing house. I just want to f***ing talk to you’,” she said.

“‘I’ll fuckin get you’ he said at one stage,” she added.

“We went out on the street,” she said. “I saw John Joe Malone. We saw him at the door (of) Nancy Smyth’s house.”

She said that this banging and shouting went on for about half an hour.

“He kicked the door a few times and was banging on the window,” she continued. “He came out and slammed the gate once or twice.”

She was asked about his demeanour, and she said he was ‘angry and agitated’.

“We stood on the street and then we went back into the house,” she said. “The noise was still going on for a few minutes after that. Then it just went quiet.”

She said they presumed he had gone.

“Next thing we heard then was someone shouting on the street that there was a house on fire,” she said.” We went outside again and saw that it was Nancy’s house.”

She was asked if she had seen Mr Malone on that street before and she said she had seen him at Ms Smyth’s house.

Under cross examination by Colman Cody SC, defending, she agreed that what she told gardai in 1987 was very different from what she told them in 2012. She had not told gardai that she had gone out onto the street in her first statement.

“When we did find out that Nancy had been murdered, we thought it would be solved in months,” she recalled. “My mother said to me: ‘You needn’t tell them you saw anything, needn’t get involved, we’ve given statements’.”

She explained that her mother had been ‘a strong woman’.

“Even though I was 32, I was still the child in the house,” she said. “When we found out Nancy was murdered, we wondered when was someone going to be arrested for it.”

She agreed that she knew Mr Malone had been arrested.

“Yes, but it came to nothing,” she said.

She said that she felt she should make another statement after a television reconstruction was produced. She said the gardai came around to the houses on the street too.

She remembered appeals for people to come forward over the years.

Mr Cody put it to her that her parents had passed away and asked had it ever occurred to her that she should go back and give information.

“Well maybe it did occur to me but I never did go back,” she replied.

“What was I supposed to do with it?” she asked later.  “There was nothing happening about the case,” she said.

“Back then you didn’t get involved,” she continued. “That’s what my mother was like.

Maybe it was her way of protecting me, that I had a son.”

“You claim that the person you saw shouting and roaring was John Joseph Malone. How did you know him?” she was asked.

“I knew who the family were,” she replied, mentioning that she knew his father and some of his brothers, including Barney Malone. “I knew them to see them, I would have known that they were Malones.”

She was asked later if she had ever seen Barney Malone at the Smyth house.

“No,” she replied.

Mr Cody suggested that the reason she didn’t come forward before 2012 was because she didn’t have the information, that what she had said in her first statement was true.

She denied this.

She was re-examined by the prosecutor, who asked if she had any doubt about the identity of the person she saw, of what she heard or of what she saw him doing.

“No, no doubt whatsoever,” she replied. “It’s just my my mother’s way of protecting me: Don’t get involved. It will be solved.”

The trial continues before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of five women and seven men.

Published in Front


Mr. John Joseph Malone of Newpark, Kilkenny city , has been found guilty of the murder of a 69-year-old lady Nancy Smith  in the cold case trial of a thirty -year-old murder at Wolfe Tone Street , Kilkenny. 

This goes to show that even after thirty years a man can go to jail for life in Ireland - it sends a mess age out to all those who may think they have gotten away with murder. We expect a lot more cold cases after this. 

Thus the jury's verdict in this case is to be welcomed with open arms. We look forward to Malone's sentencing as all across Kilkenny do as well.  This has made our day!

More later as further news comes in ....

Published in Front
Thursday, 23 March 2017 20:41


Kilkenny murder: Nephew ‘flabbergasted’ at question of strangled aunt using money lender

Natasha Reid

Natasha Reid

23 Mar 2017

Kilkenny murder: Nephew ‘flabbergasted’ at question of strangled aunt using money lender

John Joe Malone

The nephew of a widowed pensioner found strangled in her home 30 years ago has said he was ‘flabbergasted’ to hear a question about her use of a money lender.

Desmond Murphy was giving evidence to the Central Criminal Court yesterday (Thursday) in the cold-case trial of a 53-year-old man accused of her murder.

John Joseph Malone is charged with murdering 69-year-old Ann ‘Nancy’ Smyth on 11th September 1987 at her home on Wolfe Tone Street in Kilkenny City.

Mr Malone of Newpark in Kilkenny City has pleaded not guilty.

Mr Murphy, who identified Mrs Smyth’s remains to gardai, explained that she had been married to his uncle, Dick, who had died 11 months earlier.

Under cross examination by the defence, he said that her sisters in law, including his mother, had taken it on themselves, in their visits, to make sure that she was comfortable.

“The onus wasn’t put on her nieces and nephews,” he explained. “In hindsight, it’s easier to say, I should have called more often.”

He was aware that she had home help and that she used to get meals on wheels.

He was asked if he had any knowledge of her using a money lender.

“The only evidence of that was hearing in the court today” he replied, referring to a similar question put to another witness. “I was a bit flabbergasted to actually hear it. It was never indicated to us by our parents.”

He said that her nieces and nephews had children and mortgages so their parents hadn’t put any pressure on them to make any donations.

“No I wasn't aware that Nancy was ever seeking a loan but I was aware that her three sisters in law were doing their bit for her,” he added.

He also said that none of her nephews or nieces had known that she had taken in lodgers.

The bartender, who had served Mrs Smyth her final drinks, earlier described her as ‘just a lovely person’.

Ann Lahart testified that Mrs Smyth came alone to her parents’ pub on John Street at about 9 o’clock on the evening before her death.

“She was partial to her rum and blackcurrant and she also liked her whiskey and lemonade,” she said, explaining that she would have ordered one or the other.

“She was in great form,” she recalled.

She said Mrs Smyth was a regular customer and spoke to the other customers she knew.

“She spoke with, I can’t remember the name,  a barman from Jim Langton’s Bar, who in turn bought her a drink,” she said.

She said Mrs Smyth purchased several more drinks as well as cigarettes that evening.

“She came in most days. We built up a rapport. She was a lonely little woman,” she explained. “I got to know her. I always made a point of being sociable towards her, My 21st had been coming up and I’d asked her if she’d like to come.”

Mrs Lahart was asked to describe the deceased.

“She was lovely. She was just a lovely person,” she replied.

She said Mrs Smyth was ‘quiet in her own way’ but was quite happy to chat with those she knew.

“She had funny little ways about her. She used to carry her radio in her handbag,” she recalled. “She was quite particular about her radio. She was all the time checking the batteries. I would have checked the batteries for her. I’d only changed them about a week before hand.”

Ms Lahart confirmed that she knew nothing of her taking a loan from a man, who used to drink in the pub.

The trial already heard that Mrs Lahart’s father had dropped Mrs Smyth home and seen her into her hallway later that night ‘for safety’.

Security man Dermot Fennelly was making his rounds a few hours later. He testified that he called the gardai after noticing smoke coming from her house and seeing flames through a window.

Anthony Lacey was a member of Kilkenny Fire Brigade at the time. He said he and his colleagues had used a sledge hammer to strike the Yale lock and get in the front door.

“We noticed after there was a bolt on the door on the inside,” he recalled, adding that he didn’t think it was on.

“After putting on our breathing apparatus, we started to search. We were fairly sure that there was somebody in the house,” he explained.

“There was a couch. There was only a small bit of a flame on it from the arm of the couch. It wasn’t anything to be worried about, just a very small fire."

He described the smoke in the house as intense, and the visibility as bad.

“I kind of just moved the couch very slightly. I stumbled over something,” he said. “I just felt with my hand for a minute. It was a body.”

The court heard the statement of the doctor, who had pronounced death at St Luke’s Hospital. The statement described the deceased being in her day clothes, with her face blackened.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of five women and seven men. It’s expected to last more than three weeks.

Published in Front

Kilkenny murder trial: Accused told fellow church member that he pushed deceased

Natasha Reid

Natasha Reid

28 Mar 2017


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Kilkenny murder trial: Accused told fellow church member that he pushed deceased

John Joe Malone

A murder accused told a fellow member of his church that he had pushed a widowed pensioner, that she had died, and that he’d set fire to her house, his cold-case trial has been told.

Jude Curran was giving evidence to the Central Criminal Court this (Tuesday) morning in the trial of a 53-year-old man accused of murdering a woman in Kilkenny 30 years ago.

John Joseph Malone is charged with murdering 69-year-old Ann ‘Nancy’ Smyth on 11th September 1987 at her home on Wolfe Tone Street in the city. She was strangled before fire was set to her house.

Mr Malone of Newpark in Kilkenny City has pleaded not (NOT) guilty.

Mr Curran testified that he had known the accused since Mr Malone was a teenager and that they were ‘very good friends’ by the time of Mrs Smyth’s death; they’d attended the same church and bible study group.

He said that Mr Malone came to his house in Newpark Close about two months later.

“I was reading the bible and John Joe came in and just said to me: ‘Jude, if somebody murdered someone, would God forgive them?’” said Mr Curran.

He said he told him that King David and Moses had murdered people and were in Heaven, but that they had been sorry.

“He said: ‘Well what if this person isn’t sorry for what they’d done?’” said Mr Curran. “Then I just said they’d be wasting their time.”

He said that the accused came to see him again another two months later.

“He just said to me that he couldn’t make out how forensics says that Mrs Smyth was strangled,” he said. “He had told me that he had argued with her and that he pushed her and she fell, and this was supposed to be outside,” he continued, adding that Mr Malone had told him she had banged herself off a stone.

“That he brought her in, sat her down and she died, and that he set fire to the house,” he said. “He had told me that Mrs Smyth had accused his brother of taking her purse and he had gone to confront her about that.”

He said Mr Malone told him another time that it was bothering him and that he couldn’t sleep.

“I said, if you like I can go to the guards’ barracks with you and bring a solicitor and, because you’re confessing and they’ve nothing else on you, you’d get a light sentence,” said Mr Curran. “He said he would only for his mother, he wouldn't like to put that on his mother.”

Mr Curran is being cross examined by the defence this afternoon.

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