In what is believed to be the first case of its kind in Ireland, a woman is suing the men who were involved in the contract killing of her husband, a FÁS supervisor, in Sligo 13 years ago.
Terence Madden (52), a community activist and father-of-three was gunned down outside his home in Monasteraden on Jan 28, 1999. In court, his killing was blamed on a grudge held by one of the men over the fact that the Maddens were running a bed and breakfast business near his mother’s B&B.
The High Court was told yesterday how Mr Madden’s wife Margaret suffered a heart attack as her husband bled to death outside the backdoor of their Co Sligo home.
Mrs Madden told the court she called the doctor and gardaí and was beginning to black out.
"I did not realise he was dead. I was lying on the floor with a terrible pain in my chest," she said, adding that she had to plead with doctors to let her attend her husband’s funeral.
Three men were jailed for life for Mr Madden’s killing. They were; Michael Joseph Herron (31 at the time), single, a native of Belleek, Co Fermanagh, with an address at at the time at Chapel St, Ballyshannon, Co Donegal, Michael Doohan (then 34), single, then a member of the Defence Forces, of Ashbury Lawn, Ballinode, Co Sligo and Patrick McGrath (then 57), a married father of 12, of Cuilprughlish, Gurteen, Co Sligo. Both Doohan and McGrath had their appeals dismissed in 2002.
One of the men, Michael Doohan, claimed in the aftermath of the killing that he had ordered a punishment-style beating of the 52-year-old father of three in which his legs would be crippled and his arms broken. He claimed he paid £600 up front and a further £900 was to be paid after the attack.
However, the victim died when a bullet severed an artery in his leg.
In 1999, the court heard that Mr Madden got up at 7.20am on January 28 and prepared to travel to Dublin for a meeting. Around 7.50am a shot rang out in the vicinity of the Madden household and from the position of the deceased's body it would appear he was getting into his car when he was brought down.
Now, Mrs Madden is suing the culprits for damages.
She has said she has not been able to run her bed and breakfast business since the killing and has claimed she suffered personal injuries, nervous shock, and loss arising from her husband’s death. She is seeking aggravated and punitive damages for assault, battery, intimidation, and conspiracy and also wants the court to restrain the men from removing from the jurisdiction or concealing any of their assets.
As well as Doohan, she is suing two other men who were also jailed for life for their part in the killing. A fourth man, Thomas Derrig, of Battlefield, Culfadda, Ballymote, Co Sligo, has since died. Mrs Madden is taking the case against his sons, who are the representatives of his estate.
The case was before the court for assessment of damages only. Ms Justice Mary Irvine will deliver her assessment of the damages to be awarded next Tuesday. Source: Irish ExaminerAlways be first with Sligo news - Never miss a story - Join us on Facebook