Pauline Kilkenny: Joseph Dolan says victim was 'like a mother to him'

Joseph Dolan

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Joseph Dolan admitting manslaughter on the grounds of diminished reponsibility last December

A man who killed a “good Samaritan” who had taken him into her home said “she was like a mother to him”.

Pauline Kilkenny, 59, was stabbed 28 times in the head, neck and back and had also suffered head injuries.

Her body was found by her sister at her bungalow between Belcoo and Garrison, in County Fermanagh, in November 2018, after she failed to turn up for work.

Joseph Dolan, 29, of no fixed abode, admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Ms Kilkenny had provided a home for Dolan, who was originally from County Cavan.

A prosecution lawyer read a victim impact statement from her niece who described Ms Kilkenny as “the epitome of light”.

‘A terrible tragedy’

“She would brighten up faces, rooms and lives” she said.

“Nothing will take away the pain of this loss.”

A defence lawyer said she was “a very good person who was kind and generous to the defendant”.

“She offered him a roof over his head in circumstances where he had very few options at the time.”

He said the circumstances in which she died were “a terrible tragedy”.

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Pauline Kilkenny was found in her remote rural bungalow between Belcoo and Garrison

“Regrettably she had the gross misfortune to be present when the defendant was suffering from a mental disorder acting in the way that he did,” he added.

Dolan attacked her in November 2018 at her bungalow on the Cornacully Road, hitting her with kitchen pans before stabbing her as she lay dying.

The prosecution said it was a “vicious, unprovoked attack on an innocent, vulnerable victim”.

Psychiatric reports had shown that Dolan suffered from a personality disorder.

Indications of remorse

He had taken prescription drugs before the attack, and had an addictive and violent personality.

The week after the killing, he told the mental health team at Maghaberry Prison that Ms Kilkenny “was like a mother to him”.

He said he had flashbacks and could see her face, which a defence lawyer argued were an indication of his remorse.

Dolan had 27 previous convictions in the Republic of Ireland, including violent disorder.

In 2013, he was sentenced to three years for robbery and for beating a Drogheda pensioner and stabbing a taxi driver.

The prosecution said the medical reports showed that Dolan was dangerous and posed an indefinite risk of violent offending in the future.

He said the judge should impose an indeterminate sentence so that parole commissioners can assess the risk once he becomes eligible for release.

Ms Kilkenny’s sisters, brother-in-law and other family members were at the sentencing hearing at Laganside Court.

Dolan is due to be sentenced on 28 February.

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