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Man accused of murdering two elderly brothers pretended to be doctor who carried out autopsies

The brothers were found beaten to death.

Image: Shutterstock/sergign

A MAYO MAN accused of murdering two elderly brothers was pretending to be a doctor, who would carry out autopsies on any bodies found that night, just hours before he killed them.

Alan Cawley’s trial has also heard that he threatened to have a fellow pub customer he’d just met ‘committed’ with the help of the gardaí to prevent him killing his wife.

The evidence was heard this morning at the Central Criminal Court, where the 30-year-old is on trial, charged with murdering both Thomas Blaine and John (Jack) Blaine. They were found beaten to death.

Cawley of Four Winds, Corrinbla, Ballina, Co Mayo has admitted killing the brothers, one of whom was disabled and was scalded during the assault. However, he has pleaded not guilty to murdering them on 10 July 2013 at New Antrim Street in Castlebar.

Michelle Nally testified that she was bar manager at The Irish House in the town, but was off duty and socialising there on the night of 9 July that year.

She told Denis Vaughan Buckley SC, prosecuting, that a couple she knew, Mick and Maureen Lacey, came into the bar. They were followed a short time later by a man she didn’t know, it’s accepted that this was the accused.

“He seemed to go straight over to them,” she recalled. “At first, Maureen seemed to be ok but after a while I heard her saying: ‘Leave us alone’.”

Nally said she invited Mrs Lacey to join her and her friend, as she looked ‘very uncomfortable’. She said, “He followed her over.”

He was saying that Michael Lacey had health issues and he thought that Michael was going to kill Maureen that night. He said he wanted to ring the gardaí on him, that he was afraid for her.

She said this man claimed to be training to be a doctor and to have done four and a half years of his training.

He said he was working in the mortuary in Castlebar and that if Mrs Lacey’s body, or any body, was found in the morning, he’d be doing the post mortems.

“I said they were very serious accusations and he had no right to be saying it,” she continued. “He said he had the authority to do it because he was training to be a doctor.”

She said she asked him outside to speak to him and asked him his name.

“He said he was Alan McDonagh from Cavan, his grandparents were part of the Traveller community but he was settled,” she said. “He had settled as a child and that’s why he was training to be a doctor.”

She said she asked if he would mind her ringing the HSE in the morning to report him; he was drinking at 11pm, and would possibly be carrying out a post-mortem exam at 6am. She was also going to mention the serious allegations.

She said he became angry when she put her hand in her pocket, and asked if she was recording.

She said that she and her friend were also getting very uncomfortable by this point, and she told him he could finish his drink outside, but not to come back onto the premises.

“He was talking slow but I could understand him,” she explained. “I didn’t know what to think. At first I had no reason in the world to doubt him.”

She thought that he might have been on drugs.

“I didn’t know if he was acting crazy,” she added. “I was fearful.”

She said that she’d had every intention of calling the HSE in the morning but, when she heard the news about the Blaine brothers, she called the gardaí instead.

The trial continues this afternoon before Justice Paul Coffey and a jury of four women and eight men.

Read: Mayo man admits killing elderly brothers but pleads not guilty to murder>

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Natasha Reid

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