betrayal  | 

Grandfather jailed for covering up wife Patricia O’Connor's murder dies in hospital

The murder of Gus O’Connor’s wife Patricia by Kieran Greene in 2017 was one of the most gruesome in recent Irish history
Augustine (Gus) O'Connor. Photo: Collins Courts

Augustine (Gus) O'Connor. Photo: Collins Courts

Ken Foy

A 78-year-old man who served an 18-month jail sentence for his role in covering up the murder of his wife has died in Dublin’s Mater Hospital.

The funeral mass of Augustine (Gus) O’Connor is due to take place in Donnybrook on Wednesday after his death last Friday.

The murder of Gus O’Connor’s wife Patricia O’Connor by Kieran Greene in May, 2017 – the boyfriend of the couple's daughter, Louise – was one of the most gruesome in recent Irish history.

Greene beat retired hospital cleaner Patricia to death with a child's hurley – in what was described in court as a ­"sustained attack", ­during a row in the bathroom of the family home at 66 Mountainview Park, Churchtown, on May 29, 2017.

Patricia O'Connor

Patricia O'Connor

He buried the grandmother-of-seven's body in a shallow grave in a cornfield in Co Wexford, but later dug it up, dismembered it with a hacksaw and scattered the remains at nine different locations across the Dublin and Wicklow Mountains.

Gus O’Connor was jailed after he admitted reporting his dismembered wife Patricia (61) missing to gardaí when he already knew she was dead.

He was said to be in ill health after his release from prison last August and a death notice posted on RIP.ie stated that Mr O’Connor had passed away peacefully in hospital on January 7.

Gardaí believe Ms O’Connor's murder was prompted by over-crowding in the home she shared with her husband, her daughter Louise, Louise's partner Kieran Greene and ­Louise's five children.

In June 2020, Kieran Greene (37) was jailed for life for Patricia's murder, daughter Louise (42) received a two-and-a-half-year sentence, granddaughter Stephanie (23) was jailed for 18 months and Louise's ex-boyfriend Keith Johnston (44) was jailed for three years.

The four co-accused were convicted of impeding Greene's prosecution but Gus O’Connor was the only one who pleaded guilty before the trial started.

Mr O’Connor spent a little over a year in prison for his role in the cover-up after he was given temporary release last June.

Passing sentence in June 2020 at the Central Criminal Court, Judge Paul McDermott said the charges against , Louise and Stephanie and Johnston were "simply appalling".

Mr Justice McDermott said it was "appalling" that on hearing his wife had been murdered by Kieran Greene in his home Gus O'Connor suggested calling emergency services but when that was rejected he did nothing about it and went to bed.

His actions in later reporting his wife as a missing person knowing she had been murdered was a betrayal of his wife and his son, he said.

Gus O’Connor from Mill Close, Glasheen, Stamullen, Co Meath, pleaded guilty to impeding the apprehension or prosecution of his wife's murderer just before his trial was due to begin.

The judge set a headline sentence of three years but took into account Gus O'Connor's late plea of guilty, expression of remorse, that he has led a blameless life up to this and has no previous convictions. He therefore fixed a sentence of 18 months.

After the murder, Stephanie dressed up as her dead grandmother, leaving the house that night to be captured on a neighbour's CCTV – to bolster this claim.

Kieran Greene

Kieran Greene

The plan was "hatched" with her mother Louise, who agreed to it. Gus O'Connor knew his wife was dead but went to gardaí to falsely report she was missing.

Handyman Keith Johnston, Stephanie's father and Louise's former boyfriend, went shopping with Greene to help him to select tools that were later used to dismember the body.

Last September, Gus O’Connor sold the house at Mountain View Park in which his wife was murdered for €350,000.

Probate documents showed that Patricia O’Connor also left an estate valued at €32,492 to her spouse and as next-of-kin, her husband was also entitled to full possession of the house which had been registered jointly in their names.

Meanwhile, killer Greene is appealing his conviction for murder.

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