Ciara Ní Chathmhaoil was 22 when she was murdered in November 2007. The young woman was found with multiple stab wounds in the bathroom of her home. Her 4 year old son was in the house at the time. Ciara was originally from Belfast but had been living in Carlow for the previous 8 months. She was taking part in a ‘moving on’ programme from young lone mothers in the local community centre. She was described by local people as a devoted mother and a fantastic person.
Her ex-boyfriend, Gordon Molloy, was charged with her murder and stood trial for murder in July 2009. At the trial it emerged that Ciara was found naked in the bath of her home and had suffered 27 stab wounds. Molloy told Gardai that he ‘lost it’ and that he was jealous after he learned that Ciara had begun a new relationship. The court heard that Molloy had been drinking heavily the day before the murder. He had broken into her home and lay in wait for her to return with her child. Ciara arrived home at 8am that morning and when she asked him to leave he attacked her.
The court also heard that Ciara’s last words were to tell her son to ‘run’. The child, then four years old, witnessed the attack. Molloy admitted that after he killed Ciara he undressed her body an attempted to have sex with her. He also wrote ‘I loved her but she cheated’ on the living room door using Ciara’s blood.
When Ciara ended the relationship, Molloy threatened to kill her if he found out she was seeing someone else. After the conviction, Ciara’s parents described Molloy as ‘a control freak stifled with jealousy’ and that he constantly harassed their daughter. They encouraged her to report the harassment to the Gardaí but they said that she was too fearful.
Ciara is one of the 78 women who have been killed by their partners of ex-partners in 1996. Women's Aid remembered these women in a moment's silence outside the Dail on Thursday, 20th November 2014.
Remembering Stolen Lives
Reference: Women's Aid Female Homicide Media Watch, 1996-September 2014