Belfast man Gerard Mulligan who took his own life after killing his dad was 'deeply troubled soul, not a monster', says partner
The partner of a Maghaberry prisoner who took his own life weeks after killing his father has said “he was not a monster” and that he “couldn’t live with what he had done”.
Gerard Mulligan (44) was arrested for the murder of his father, also called Gerard, in Limehurst Way, Lisburn on September 29 after his body was discovered in a car boot outside his house.
His funeral service was held yesterday at St Agnes Church in Belfast. Mourners heard how he “was a deeply troubled soul”.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph afterwards, his partner Michelle Logue (44) said she had been left devastated by his death.
“He was very troubled but I knew a different Gerard,” she said.
“Every time he walked into the room he made me smile. We would go out for meals together in beautiful restaurants and he would buy me a new dress every time.”
She added: “He adored his children, they were his world.”
She said that “he could fix anything” when it came to his lifelong passion for cars.
Ms Logue said she was the first to find out Gerard had killed his father when he phoned to tell her he had taken an overdose. She described it as “like something out of a horror movie”.
After arriving at the house she called the police and an ambulance.
“The police came and they thought it was just an overdose, then I called the policeman to the side and said: ‘Something very bad has happened here’.”
“I said, ‘He’s murdered his father and put him in the boot of the car’. The policeman said, ‘Could you show me where the car is?’ — so I went round the back and showed him.”
Ms Logue then faced hours of police questioning while Mr Mulligan was taken for treatment in hospital.
“I had to go home and pick up my daughter afterwards and get on like everything’s normal,” she said.
“He was troubled for a long time, killing his father. He said he didn’t mean to do it.
“He wrote to me in his letters and said it was a row that went wrong, a moment of madness and he was sorry for all the pain he had caused to everybody.”
At yesterday’s funeral service, Fr David Delargy told the congregation that Gerard was going to Mass regularly in prison in his final weeks, praying with rosary beads in his cell and “longed to find some peace in his tormented life”.
He added that visits from his mother Eileen had given him reason to hope and that “for Gerard’s family the last few days have been like a nightmare”.
Ms Logue had also visited him each week and received six letters.
“He said how much he loved me and missed me, and that he would give anything for one more day of freedom with me,” she said.
“The letters are heartbreaking, at least I have them. I told him how much I loved him and no matter what sentence he got I would wait on him — he was absolutely delighted.”
Ms Logue has said she has felt racked by guilt since missing phone calls on the day of his death, November 5.
“He phoned me about six times on the Saturday and I never got to speak to him,” she said.
“I was in work twice on the day he hung himself. I came home and lay down and my phone was on the floor. He phoned four times in two minutes.
“Then he got locked up at half five and was found at half seven. I feel like it’s my fault, maybe I could have talked him out of it this time.
“I feel terrible guilt, I thought my love was enough. I never got to say goodbye and I have to live with that.
“He was the love of my life, he was my whole world.”
After his death, questions were immediately raised about prisoner safety in Maghaberry jail.
“He had mental health problems and there was the guilt of killing his father,” said Ms Logue.
“He overdosed and he was on suicide watch, but they took him off it.”
With an inquiry into his death under way she added: “I know prisoners in there have done wrong, but they also need to be treated like human beings.
“It’s heartbreaking — not only is his father dead, but now he is too within four weeks. All people know is that this is the man who hung himself in Maghaberry four weeks after killing his father, but they don’t know the other Gerard.
“He wasn’t a monster, he was just deeply troubled and he just did something he deeply regretted. He was truly loved by a lot of people.”