The Wayne O'Donoghue story - In his own words
How he killed Robert Holohan; his panic and suicide plan; why he hid the body; how he came to confess....
I was still on holidays from CIT (Cork Institute of Technology). I was to go back to college on the next day, Wednesday 5 January 2005. I was doing a project for college. I got up that morning between 11am and 11.30am. My mother and brother Nicky were in the house. Timmy (another brother) was gone to Cork and my father was gone to work. My mother told me to go out and walk the dog – it was my week to walk him. I was out on the grass near the dog shed. I was hitting the ball with the hurley and Robert (Holohan) appeared on his silver BMX which he got for Christmas. He put the bike down and he joined me playing with he dog. After about 10 or fifteen minutes I decided to go back into the house.
This account is taken from the statement Wayne O'Donoghue made to Gardaí on the evening of 16 January 2005.The statement was read into the record during the course of his trial. It has got almost no attention in the on-going controversy.
It was about 12.30pm. When I went back in Robert just left. My mother was to bring Nicky to work in Super Valu, Midleton at 1.30pm. Nicky and myself played on the computer with FIFA 2005 for a while.
There was a change of plan and I decided to bring Nicky to work. We left at 1.20pm approx. I drove into Midleton in my car, a gold Punto, with Nicky. I drove down the main road, turned left and into Midleton.
I assumed Nicky was to start work at 1.30pm. After dropping Nicky I went up to my girlfriend's house – Rebecca Dennehy. I was setting up a study time table for her for her leaving cert. I got a call from my brother Timmy from his mobile. He asked me to collect an exercise bike he bought in Argos in Cork. About ten minutes later approximately I got a second phone call to meet (Timmy) at the Courthouse. I went down and met him and collected the bike. I put the bike into the back seat of my car and Timmy went down town. I then went back up the Mill Road and straight to Rebecca's house. The door was not locked and I went in and collected my bag and then I returned home at 2.30pm approximately.
I took the bike out of my car and put it into Timmy's room. There was nobody at home. More or less straight away about 2.35pm approximately there was a knock on the door and when I opened it Robert from next door was outside. Robert was eleven years old. I had known him for a number of years. He was a regular caller to the house and could call several times on any given day. I was a good friend of his. We played Playstation as well as football and hurling.
He asked me would I take him to McDonalds for a chocolate milk shake. I had done this for him a number of times before. I said no as I had been in town and traffic was heavy. He said don't be such an asshole and I told him to fuck off and he just went away. This would be normal banter between us and no offence would be taken or intended.
I came into the kitchen for a while and made a cup of tea and biscuits. I then went down to the sun room and I went onto our Hewlett Packard computer which we have for about a year. I checked the virus disc which my mother had put in, I was watching it, it was bit weird and behaving unusual. While I was watching the computer I got a call on my mobile from Rebecca. It was 3pm approx. Rebecca wanted to know where I was and what I was doing and I agreed to call down later on. I then went up to my bedroom. I was getting my college project ready for the following day. I was rehearsing it. I was still at it when at 3.30pm approx I heard the door bell ring again. I answered the door and it was Robert Holohan again. He came in and went into the kitchen, he was rooting around the fridge and drawers where we might have coke. This would be not uncommon for Robert and not improper. I was coming into the hall area and I said to Robert I am trying to prepare my speech and I had the speech in a three page document in my hand. He asked me again to bring him to McDonalds. I said not a hope I have loads to do. I have to get this ready. I meant my speech.
While I was still in the hall he walked past me towards the front door, I followed him, I was leaning against the door as I was looking out the door my gold Punto was directly in front of me and Robert's bicycle was on the ground behind my car.
Robert went towards his bike and as he was picking it up, he was popping pebbles from the driveway at the rear of my gold Punto. I said stop Robert will you ever grow up. He then picked up a bunch of pebbles and again threw them at the rear area of my car. I then walked over to him and gave him a little nudge and told him to fuck off. I turned round to walk back towards the front door and I felt more pebbles hit the back of my head and more off my car. I wasn't over happy with him with the pebbles hitting my car. I turned back round.Robert was standing beside his bicycle.
I walked over to him and I put my right arm round his neck. I jerked him away from the bike towards the rear right hand side of the car. I released the grip with my right hand and I was still holding him with my left hand by the scruff of the neck. Nothing was said between us at this stage. I then moved my left hand up to his adam's apple. He was against the rear right hand side of my car. I said will you stop at the fucking stones. I can't describe how tight I held him. I don't know how long I had him held but it seemed very short. I did not intend to cause him any harm or injury.
When I removed my left hand from his throat he just fell to the ground. I did not realise at that time he had been hurt. I called Rob.
He slumped down at my feet. That is when I said Rob. I called his name a few times and I shook his jacket to get a response. When I got no response I realised here was something wrong. I decided to bring him into the house. I put my left arm under his left leg and I put my right arm under his shoulder and towards his chest. I had no problem lifting him. He was off the ground. I brought him in the front door through the hall turning left and the bathroom is the first room on my right. I recall one of his runners fell off his foot going in the bathroom door. I laid him down on the floor flat with his legs facing the door and his head facing towards the window and radiator.
I laid him on the bafhroom floor mat. I called his name a number of times again and I threw some water from my hands on his face. I have no knowledge of or training in resuscitation techniques. He looked lifeless. If I had training in resuscitation I would have used it. I lifted up one of his arms and it just dropped straight down. I listened for breathing and I couldn't hear any. I started to panic and I said oh my god what will I do. At this stage I believed he may have died. In a state of panic I came out to the kitchen wondering what I was going to do next.
I don't know how long I was in the kitchen. It was about 3.50pm approx. I left thinking what will I do. I was really panicking and knew my mother and brother were due home shortly. I went back into the bathroom again a couple of minutes later hoping he would be standing up. Again I listened to see was he breathing and to see could I get a response from him but there wasn't any.
If possible I panicked even more and I again returned to the kitchen and went to the top drawer on the left hand side of the dishwasher. On the right hand side of this drawer is where the knives are located I recall that I took out a black handle knife out of the drawer. I was in complete shock and panic at what I had done or what had happened.
I can't describe my feelings at that time but my intention was to cut my throat, I had the knife in my right hand. I went back into the bathroom and I looked at the mirror with the knife in my hand which I placed close to my throat. I can't explain my actions at this time. I took away the knife and I was looking at Robert. I came back into the kitchen and threw the knife back into the drawer.
I left thinking what will I do. I was panicking and I decided I would have to remove the body. I then remembered that I had a number of black bags in my room which is located directly across from the bathroom, I had got these from the Gooses Acre pub in main street, Midleton where I used work approx. four months ago. This was all done in panic. I went back into the bathroom with the two black bags.
I then wiped the water off his face and the front this jacket where he was wet with toilet paper. I then flushed the toilet paper down the toilet. I can't explain why I did this. I pulled one of the black bags down over his head and the other one I pulled up from his legs. I can't recall if the two black bags covered his body completely. I then got the runner and placed it inside the black bag near the top of his leg. I said I have to get out of here before my mother comes in. It was now approx 4pm. I decided to remove the body from the house. I picked up the body I think by putting my right hand under his knee and my left hand under his back.
Robert was light and easy to carry. I walked from the bathroom turned left and then turned right out the front door. As I came out the front door the driver's door of my car was directly in front of me. I opened the door with my right hand. I bent down a bit further and I pulled the lever to open the boot of the car. I went to the rear of the car and placed the body in the boot. I closed the boot and I put Robert's silver BMX bike in the back seat by lifting the driver's seat – I came back into the house. I was still in a panic. I splashed water up on my face and drinking it at the same time. This happened at the kitchen sink. I was thinking what will I do now.
What will I do with the body. I was panicking, I was trying to get everything cleared up before my mother would come home. I mean getting Robert's body out of the house. Just before I left I rang Rebecca, my girlfriend, from our house landline to her mobile. I told her I would be down in a while. I left the house at 4.10pm approx. I got into my gold Fiat Punto. I started it up reversed around the side of the house. I then drove out the gate turned left up the hill and turned round again up at the Y junction. I came back down past my house. I saw the road over to the Golf Course. I had just passed it. I stopped and I reversed back and I was just going to throw everything out on the road there. I took the bike out of the back seat by lifting the driver's seat. I threw the bike up against the ditch. I did this very quickly. I did not see any vehicle or person at this stage. I got back into the car and turned the car and came back to the junction, turned left down to the main road junction turned left again and headed in towards Midleton.
I was driving fast, I went down the Mill Road. I was shaking, I didn't know where to go. I pulled into John Foley's garage across from the Co-Op. I think it's an ESSO Garage. I turned in left and just parked it. I did not go over near the pumps. I was sitting in the car in a daze wondering what I would do now. I got out of the car and I went into the shop. Before I got out of the car I was upset and crying. I just got out, went into the shop, I was looking around I bought a bottle of lucozade from a woman. I returned to the car in a daze, still not knowing what to do. I got into the car and drove back in the direction from which I came towards home. I turned at the entrance to the skip place across from East Cork Oil.
I headed back into Midleton, I had no idea where I was going or what I intended do. When I came back into Midleton I again headed up by John Foley's garage and I just kept driving on up that road. It was getting dark and I knew my mother would be home. I was still panicky and thinking I have to go somewhere, I just can't keep driving around.
When I passed Cashmans Garage I thought of Inch and I thought it would be quiet. I drove very fast after passing Cashmans Garage, I went straight on to the main road onto the dual carriageway. I turned left, it's the only way to go. I drove down this road and I came to a roundabout. I took the third exit leading for Whitegate. I just kept flying.
As I was passing Cashmans Garage a Guard car came flying up behind me. I got more shaky and panicked even more. I was crying. I thought it might be pulling me in for speeding. I knew if they pulled me in he would know there was something wrong due to the state of me. I continued out the Whitegate road. I passed Ballinacurra on my left, I then went through Saleen, up the hill and took the next left after the Cloyne entrance. I drove along this road and then I took the right turn at the Y junction. I travelled along that road heading in the direction of the beach. I drove down a good bit. I could then see the beach. I could also see a car in the car park. It was a silver car. I knew then I couldn't leave Robert on the beach.
My earlier intention was to place Robert on the beach so that he could be found. I am now really near the beach, I can see the sand. I then turned the car at an entrance on my right hand side which I think leads to a cottage on the hill. I drove back along the same road. I didn't have a clue what to do then. I was driving slowly back towards the crossroads. I just stopped me car, I got out and I opened the boot, I just wanted to remove the body.
I just removed the body from the boot. I pulled it up, I walked to my right and I threw the body into the ditch. Before I did this l had already thrown the blue Nike runner into the ditch. I threw both of them into the same area, the plastic bags I mentioned earlier were still on the body. I did this very quickly. I was in a state of panic.
I was dying and upset. I didn't view the body after throwing it in. I was conscious of leaving the scene. I hopped back into the car. It was roughly 5pm and I am only calculating this as it was getting dark. I then drove back towards Midleton. I was driving fast, about eighty miles an hour on back roads around Inch. I was in such a daze I don't recall seeing anybody I knew or any vehicle.
When I came in home, Timmy was in the house. At a guess I would say it was about 5.15 p.m. Before I came into the house I stayed in the car for a while, wiped my eyes; and tried to compose myself. I knew when I came in I knew I had dug the hole. I went into the bathroom and wiped my face, took a deep breath and went down to Timmy, just had one or two words so he would think every thing was normal. I went into my room for a while. I rang Rebecca, as she would be wondering where I was. I think it was from the house phone that I rang. I went back into my room.
I then drove over to Rebecca in a kind of a daze. I knew I had to act kind of normal. I drove to Rebecca's house. It was 6 pm approx. as the Simpsons were on when I went in. I then went into the sitting room where Rebecca was. I haven't a clue what I said to her, the Simpsons were on but I haven't a clue what was happening as my mind was in a daze.
While I was in there I was thinking how disrespectful it was where I put the body and what I had done to a friend. It hadn't sunk in it how I could do that to a friend and how disrespectful it was of me to place the body where I did. It was in the middle of nowhere and it wouldn't be found. At that time I made up my mind that I was going back down.
This was all in my head. All the time I knew I had to maintain the appearance of a normal routine. I returned to my house with Rebecca and we walked my dog. It was about 6.45pm approx. After a short walk we returned to my house and both played the Playstation in my room.
Earlier, at 5.55pm approx, I received a call on our house landline from Majella Holohan. She asked had I seen Robert. I said no not recently but I had earlier on. I was shaking and before I answered the phone I nearly knew it was Majella.
We only played the Playstation for a couple of minutes. I turned it off I remember that (her) dad was in the house at that stage. I saw a DVD box on my table and I said to Rebecca, come on let's drop it down.
Rebecca and myself then drove down to Xtra Vision on the main street. Rebecca got out and placed the DVD in the rapid return box. I then dropped Rebecca home. I told her I was going doing my presentation but I had no intention of doing that. I came back up home along the same route. I have no idea who was at home. I went into my room and decided what I was going to do.
I said to myself that I had to go back down and remove the body from where I had left it and place it on the beach and get rid of the plastic bags so that the body would be found. I had also decided that when I had carried out this I was going to come home and when everyone was gone to bed I was going to hang myself from a tree in the corner of the garden.
I was going to remove the bags and burn them. I was telling myself that this was the way it had to be. I went down to shed out the back and poured a drop of petrol into a small Coke bottle. I checked the dog shed then to see was there a wire for the purpose of using it on myself. There was a wire there.
I then got back into my car and I brought the petrol in the Coke bottle with me in my jacket. I have no idea what time it was. I then returned to Inch by the same route I outlined earlier. I drove slowly along the road where I thought I placed the body but I couldn't find it. I then parked my car in the car park at the strand and I walked back up the road on my right with a torch looking for the body. I looked for a period of twenty to twenty five minutes before I found the body.
I then started talking to the body saying Rob as if he were alive. All I could see was a black bag. I went into the ditch.
I grabbed the bag but I couldn't get the bag out as it was caught in bushes and nettles.
When I grabbed the bag I couldn't feel anything in it. At this stage I was traumatised and I was conscious of somebody coming along and seeing me. I had the torch on all during this time. I was not wearing gloves. I could not see the body.
I poured some of the petrol from the Coke bottle on the black plastic bag and I set it alight with a lighter I had in my pocket. The bag was partially lit. It was only lighting for a while and I then put the torch back on and I could see a leg and then I knew Robert's body was legs up and head down. The bag only lit for about ten seconds. I knew from the position of the body that I wouldn't be able to get it out from where it was. So I walked towards the cross looking for an entrance to get in. I couldn't find an entrance anywhere. I didn't know what to do then.
I was down there in total for about 40 minutes approx. I decided to return home to keep some bit of normality to avoid suspicions. I decided in my mind to return to the body at first light in the morning. In my mind I decided to put off the suicide until I had removed the body and placed it on the beach at first light. I then got into my car and drove back the same route to Midleton. I went back to Rebecca's house. I may have rang her on my phone. I can't recall. I knew this might be my last time to see Rebecca as my plan to commit suicide was still there. When I got to Rebecca's house it was 8.30 pm approx. as the Swan programme was on TV. I was still in a daze, I was keeping up appearances. I stayed there until about 9 pm approx. and I then drove home.
As I drove up Ballyedmond Hill towards my home I noticed a bit of commotion. I noticed one or two cars drive slowly from house to house.
I knew why this was. I came in home and I just went with everything. I went out searching for the night with my brother and others. I stayed out until 5 am and we went back to the Garda station at 7.30 approx to continue the search. On the way back from the search of the river with my brother I saw Robert's silver BMX being put in the back of a Garda patrol car at the corner house by O'Leary's. This is on the same road where I had placed the bike.
On the 5th & 6th 7th 8th 9th & 10th of January 2005 I continued the search along with others whom I met each morning at the Golf Club for briefing. As each day went by I felt the hole getting bigger and I felt it more difficult to reveal the truth and carrying out my plan and remove the body so he could be found. I didn't want him to be found where he was.
Every day it seemed harder and harder. I didn't tell anybody what had happened until I told my father.
I was aware that Robert owned a mobile phone but I wasn't aware if he had it on him that day. I shook out the mats of my car both front and back because it was filthy from carrying people around during the search. I didn't clean the boot of the car, just took out bottle and pair of shoes that were in there.
I wish to say I am deeply sorry for what has happened. Robert was a good friend and like a brother to me. If I could switch roles I would.
There was never any intent to harm Robert. What happened was a fluke of an accident.