BEHIND BARS

THE brother-in-law of a Dundalk woman who was killed in Spain has said that the family is another step closer to justice after her husband was extradited for her manslaughter.

THE brother-in-law of a Dundalk woman who was killed in Spain has said that the family is another step closer to justice after her husband was extradited for her manslaughter.

Peter Moran told The Dundalk Democrat that “the family are very pleased” with the latest turn of events which he hopes will bring justice to the family of Kelly Anne Corcoran.

“We are not in a position to say much more at the moment but we will be able to comment more fully on the matter in a few days,” he said.

Dermot McArdle from Brookfield, Heynestown is wanted by Spanish authorities to serve a two-year sentence for causing the death of his wife, Kelly Anne, over 11 years ago.

Barristers for the 42-year-old confirmed last week that McArdle was no longer contesting his extradition, which is due to take place immediately.

McArdle’s parents were in court as he took the stand. Dressed in a striped shirt and jeans and carrying an O’Neills sport bag, the father-of-three confirmed he understood the consequences of being surrendered.

He also waived his right to a ten-day referral period before the extradition order was enforced. Several members of Kelly Anne’s family were in the High Court in Dublin to hear McArdle consent to his extradition on Friday, July 29.

Speaking outside the Criminal Courts of Justice Mr Moran said: “We would like to thank all her friends and relatives who have helped us through this difficult time and we would like to thank all the authorities for all their hard work.”

McArdle is currently being remanded in custody in Cloverhill Prison until arrangements for his handover to the Spanish authorities are finalised. It is understood McArdle will initially be sent to the Alhaurin de la Torre Prison which houses 1,300 inmates.

Kelly Anne died from injuries sustained when she fell from a hotel balcony while on a family holiday in Marbella on the Costa del Sol on February 11, 2000.

McArdle was handed a suspended two-year jail term in October 2008 after a jury found him guilty of gross negligent homicide in the death of his wife of five years.

The conviction is deemed the equivalent of a manslaughter conviction in Irish courts. Under Spanish law, jail sentences of two years or less for first-time offenders are usually suspended.

The court in Malaga also ordered him to pay e220,000 in compensation to Kelly-Anne’s family. McArdle attempted to overturn his 2008 conviction and sentence but the appeal failed.

Last year, Judge Fernando Gonzalez ordered McArdle to serve his jail term for failing to pay the compensation.

H e was due to hand himself in to the Spanish authorities to begin his jail sentence in September of last year, but failed to do so and was arrested in January on foot of a European Arrest Warrant issued by a Spanish judge. See also page 5