NewsCrime Desk

EXCLUSIVE: Pictures from the scene where Grangegorman killer Mark Nash slaughtered Sylvia Shields and Mary Callinan

Crime DeskBy Nicola Tallant
Gardai at the scene in 1997
Gardai at the scene in 1997

This is the chilling image of the scene that greeted Gardai after serial killer Mark Nash broke into the home of vulnerable victims Sylvia Shields and Mary Callinan.

The knife drawer lies on the floor of the kitchen it’s content rifled through, knives and roasting forks snatched for use in a vile crime that a pathologist said was outside his 26 year old experience of murder.

This is inside the Grangegorman house that Sylvia and Mary once called home, until they were visited by an unspeakable evil.

In the early hours of a March morning in 1997 the pair and their friend Ann Mernagh, who lived together in sheltered accommodation on the grounds of Grangegorman hospital , were asleep in their beds when Nash broke in through a window at the back door.

He made his way into the kitchen and rifled through the drawers to arm himself for a despicable murder.

Then he made his way upstairs were he first attacked and killed Sylvia Shields and then Mary Callanan, who was found with a carving fork embedded in her vaginal bone.

Mark Nash was found guilty of the double murder this week. He was sentenced to life and tonight on a Prime Time special on RTE, Barry Cummins, will reveal the full horrors of his crime and show some of the scenes from inside the house of horror.

Mark Nash

Sylvia, 60, and Mary, 61, were discovered by Ann on the morning of March 7th in their bedrooms in the house at Orchard View.

Two electric carving knife blades were found in her bedroom, one beside her neck and another on the floor. A third kitchen fork with a red handle was also found protruding from her body.

READ: Mark Nash sentenced to life for Grangegorman double murder

Sylvia’s body was found lying on her back across her bed with her feet on the ground. She had sustained neck, head, chest, abdominal and vaginal injuries and two knives were found in her bedroom.

The lengthy reports by Prof John Harbison were read to his trial court by State Prosecutor Brendan Grehan, in which the former doctor described the serious genital injuries to both women as “injuries outside my experience in 26 years”. 

Reading the report, Mr Grehan read aloud that Prof Harbison had said that Ms Callanan had died from a stab wound to her left lung, the cutting of her throat and three superficial stab wounds to her heart. Ms Shields had died from bleeding into her chest.

Nash is the only serial killer to be convicted in Ireland in recent times. He was serving life for the murder of couple Karl and Catherine Doyle in Ballintobber in August of 1997 while he was tried for the Grangegorman murders over the past two months.