NewsCrime Desk

Mother prays everyday for daughter's killer to be maimed in prison

Crime DeskBy Alan Sherry
Killer: Jimmy Devaney stabbed Marie Greene to death
Killer: Jimmy Devaney stabbed Marie Greene to death

The mother of a woman brutally stabbed to death by a former soldier said she’ll never accept the killer’s apology and revealed she prays every day he’ll be attacked and maimed in prison.

Former soldier Jimmy Devaney (67), who was jailed for eight years for the brutal killing of Athlone woman Marie Greene (37), earlier this month, claimed to be sorry for his actions, which the judge took into consideration when sentencing.   

However, a Sunday World investigation can reveal:

  • Devaney transferred assets to family members after the killing so he couldn’t lose them in a civil case.
  • The twisted killer had a party at his home the night before he was sentenced.
  • Marie’s family believe that another person helped him carry out the killing .

Marie’s mother Winnie broke down in tears when she described how Devaney stabbed her daughter six times in the heart and cut her throat at an isolated bog, before returning the following day and stabbing her a further six times in the heart.

“There was no need to give her that hard of a death. He went back out a second time and did the same thing again – what kind of an animal is he? You wouldn’t do it to a dog,” she said.

Marie was not the first child Winnie has had to bury. Her son Peter died from meningitis when he was just 21 years old. Her husband then passed away from cancer.

Tragically, another of her sons, John, was diagnosed with cancer in the days after Marie’s killingand died within three months of her death.

Another of Marie’s brothers, Christy Greene, has mental difficulties and served 12 years for kidnapping and assaulting a young man, who he then left in a bog several years ago.  

Winnie said Marie had problems over the years, including an abusive boyfriend at one stage in her life.

“Every time he saw Marie he was snatching her and bringing her to his own place. It put Marie’s head everyways,” said Winnie.

She was also a kleptomaniac and had convictions relating to this. When she was younger she had a child who was put into care. 

In court, it was said Marie was a prostitute who had been blackmailing Devaney before he killed her on February 13, 2011.

Winnie said: “I’m not saying she didn’t go around with fellas – she did go around with fellas, there’s no point in saying she didn’t – but she wasn’t a streetwalker.”

While Devaney claimed Marie was blackmailing him, the family say it was never proved and they believe it was another attempt to lessen his sentence.

She added that despite his apology, Devaney did everything to get away with the killing – from trying to conceal the body and asking people to lie for him to saying Marie brought the knife when he had actually got it from someone else.

“If that was any other person or a big-shot there’d be an awful lot more to it. It’s the money and who you are and the background you had behind you. We’re only the likes of dirt in some people’s eyes.”

Winnie said after her husband died Marie made her a promise she’d always look after her and stayed true to it until her death.  

She recalled how on the night she disappeared her dog Tiny was jumping on Marie’s leg as she was leaving the house.

“She was saying: ‘I won’t be long. I’ll be back in a minute.’ She was laughing and grinning and was in great form.”

It was the last time Winnie would see her daughter alive. No matter what, Marie would always be home by 10pm. But by 10.10pm that night Winnie was convinced something terrible had happened to her daughter

“I got an awful cold feeling down through my body,” she explained.

Winnie couldn’t sleep that night and the following day contacted Gardaí.

Devaney was soon the prime suspect and placed under surveillance. Despite being a former soldier with no criminal history, he was known to be in Marie’s company frequently.

Gardaí watched him visit a bog three times while he was under surveillance. Marie’s body was later found in the bog. He later told Gardaí he stabbed her to death after Marie blackmailed him by threatening to tell his wife he was sleeping with her.

“What’s killing me is the death that Marie got. He gave her six each times in the heart, he cut her throat and the back of her neck.

“Her lip was cut and when I saw her in the coffin she looked 100 years of age. I roared and screamed ‘it’s not Marie’,” said Winnie.

She said she wouldn’t accept any apology from Devaney.

“He transferred all his assets to different family members when he knew he’d be convicted because he was worrying he’d lose them in a civil case.”

She was also disgusted to hear he held a party in his house the night before he was convicted of manslaughter.

“He’s writing apologies yet he’s able to have a party the night before,” she said.

Winnie also believes someone assisted him with the killing

“Marie was a strong girl. How could he get her all the way out the road on his own? I know he didn’t do it on his own.”

Winnie is brutally honest when she says what she feels should happen to Devaney.   She makes no attempt to hide her desire for him to come to harm behind bars.

“He should have got a life sentence and the DPP should appeal the leniency of the sentence.

“Every day I pray he has an awful hard time in prison and that he’ll never be happy again.

“I pray day and night someone gives him a bad scar.

“There’s often times I think about getting a knife and sticking it my own heart.

I cry myself to sleep every night. I wonder do Jimmy Devaney’s family cry themselves to sleep.”

Winnie said she fears he’ll be back on the streets within five or six years and hopes she dies before that day comes.