Dermot McArdle, the Dundalk man convicted of the manslaughter of his wife Kellyann Corcoran in Spain, has returned to his native town having been released early from a Spanish prison.
McArdle has been released even though it is thought he has failed to pay e220,000 in compensation to Kellyann Corcoran’s family. McArdle was not due to be released until August.
The 42-year-old was spotted by a journalist from The Star newspaper driving a 2005 Volkswagen Golf in Dundalk last Wednesday visiting relatives, days after his release from Alhaurin prison in Malaga.
McArdle was convicted in 2008 for pushing Kellyann and causing her to fall to her death from a hotel balcony in Spain in 2000.
Kellyann Corcoran died a day after the fall from the hotel. Her two sons were also staying in the hotel at the time.
Prosecutors claimed during the trial that McArdle pushed his wife off the balcony during a row.
During the trial, it was allaged that on the night of her death, the couple had dinner and Kellyann was annoyed after McArdle had been speaking to another woman.
The court also heard that McArdle had been violent and abusive towards Kellyann in the past, but in evidence given by McArdle’s sisters this was denied.
The couple’s son, Mark, who was three at the time, told his aunt that his father pushed his mother off the balcony.
Aunt Caroline Moran told the court that Mark said “Daddy bold. Daddy hit mammy. Daddy pushed mammy down.”
In defence, McArdle claimed that his wife died after she saw her son on the balcony and ran to grab him but tripped and fell over the railing, plunging to her death.
McArdle said that although he managed to grab her arm, he was unable to hold her.
This account was rejected by the jury, after a computer reconstruction showed that Kellyann could not have fallen over the rail on her own.
Based on the evidence of the argument, which was heard by witnesses, the jury was content that McArdle ‘pushed his wife on the balcony of their hotel room, causing her to fall over the rail.”
The jury also said that “it had not been proven beyond doubt that the defendant had deliberately intended to kill her.”
Consequently, McArdle was convicted of manslaughter and not murder, which was requested by the prosecutor acting on the behalf of the Corcoran family.
After losing a string of appeals, McArdle started his two-year jail sentence in August 2011.
He was ordered to pay e60,000 each to his two sons by Kellyann, Mark and Paul, for the loss of their mother – and her heartbroken parents Ted and Bridie e100,000.
It was revealed that while in prison, McArdle was making compensation payments of just e50 a month, despite being ordered to pay e220,000 compensation in court.