A woman was charged in the District Court this week (September 15 ) with the manslaughter of Lily (Lillian ) Scanlon at her home in Valley Court, Athlone over two years ago.
Agnes McCarthy (54 ), with an address at 19, Castlemain Street, Athlone was arrested by Garda Tom Higgins on Tuesday evening and charged with the unlawful killing of the 48-year-old Clara native. McCarthy made no reply to the charge when it was read to her, Garda Higgins told the court.
No plea was entered on behalf of the accused and she was released on a conditional bail to re-appear at Athlone District Court on October 13. The gardai did not object to her being released, on condition she signed on daily at the station, resided at the address given in court, and provide an independent surety of €500. This money was provided by a named person, and was accepted by the court.
Judge David Anderson enquired as to how the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP ) wished to proceed with the charge, and Garda Higgins told him that “the accused was to be sent forward” for trial in the Circuit Court. This date will be fixed once the State has completed its book of evidence and presented it to the accused’s defence team.
A 52-year-old woman and a 51-year-old man were arrested in relation to the killing on the night of May 8-9, 2008 within a week of the crime, but were released without charge.
There was another arrest of a 52-year old woman in September 2008, and though this woman was released without charge at the time, a file was prepared for the DPP.
The body of Lily, a separated mother of three grown-up children and niece of former town councillor, Austin Berry, was discovered in the kitchen of her rented home at 10am on the morning of June 9, 2008 by a guest, and had last been seen alive at 11am the previous evening.
Gardai gave no indication in court this week as to why there was a 30-month gap between the crime and a formal charge.