NewsCrime Desk

'I know who burned my Dad alive’

Gerry Nolan
Gerry Nolan

The only child of a popular gardener murdered in a fire in his mobile home nine years ago, has told how his father’s death has devastated his whole family.

Kilkenny father Gerry Nolan desperately tried to escape the flames, but tragically died in the early hours of the morning on July 24, 2006, in Deerpark Cottages, Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny, minutes after a witness saw a man loitering outside the mobile home.

Hundreds of witnesses have been interviewed in the long-running investigation into the well-liked 44-year-old’s horrific death, with gardai upgrading the probe to a murder investigation this year in the light of fresh evidence.

Gerry, who came from a family of 11, lived in the mobile home at the back of his childhood home, where his brother Willie-Joe lived.

Gerry son’s Christopher Nolan, who appeared on RTE’s Crimecall on Monday night, said his uncle made desperate attempts to save his younger brother from the burning mobile home, which went up in flames at around 4.20am.

He said: “Willie-Joe tried to break open the door to get my father out, but he couldn’t. He was locked in from the outside. He was heard screaming. The flames of the fire went up too quick.  It was terrible.”

He said it is very hard to know his father’s murderer is walking free, especially when he believes he knows the killer.

“It is very hard. I have a fair idea of who did it as well. I never thought anyone would ever go to that extreme. I would like to see whoever done it caught and brought to justice. It hard knowing the person is so close as well

“It would put my mind ease. It has hit all the family in different ways. It is after hitting nearly the whole family with depression.” 

And he urged people who can solve the long-running case not to be afraid to come forward.

“Some out there have information, but I think they are afraid to come forward. I would tell them not to be afraid and just to come forward. If they give enough evidence whoever did it will be put away and there will be nothing to worry about.”

He said he had just moved over to Wales in 2006 when he got a phone call about his father’s death from his uncle Jimmy.

“My uncle said it wasn’t an accident when he first rang me. It’s a nightmare so it is. Hopefully something will come out of the appeal.”

Detective Inspector Derek Hughes issued an appeal to members of the public for any information that might assist into the circumstances that surrounded Gerry Nolan’s death.

“We know that there are people out there who have information in their possession, which they were not willing to share previously. If they were willing to share the information it would be a great thing to do.”

The senior investigating officer said Gardai are looking for any information in relation to the witness who was seen outside the mobile home shortly before it went on fire.

He said: “We’re particularly interested in any information around that person.”

He said the Gardai are also looking for any information on a dark car captured on CCTV in the Castlecomer area on CCTV at the credit union at around 4.20am that morning and in relation to the driver of that car.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Kilkenny gardaí on (056) 7775000.