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Julia Holmes: Pauper's grave for conwoman as son refuses to claim body

By David Raleigh

Published 30/05/2015

Serial conwoman Julia Holmes
Serial conwoman Julia Holmes

Northern Ireland conwoman Julia Holmes is set to be buried in a pauper's grave after her family refused to claim her body.

The bodies of on-the-run fraudster Holmes and her partner Thomas Ruttle were found in Limerick last week.

Funeral arrangements have now been finalised for Mr Ruttle, who was caught in the web of the convicted fraudster.

The father-of-two will be buried next Wednesday following a 2pm service at St Mary's Church of Ireland, Askeaton. His body will be laid to rest in the adjoining cemetery.

However, the body of Holmes, also known as Julia McKitterick and Croen Ruttle, is to be buried in a pauper's grave as her next-of-kin has declined to claim her body.

Limerick County Council will be responsible for her burial. The bodies of Mr Ruttle (56) and Holmes (63) were discovered in a decomposing state by a three-man gang when burglars broke into Mr Ruttle's farmhouse at Boolaglass, Askeaton.

Suicide letters were found in the house. However, post mortem examinations could not determine how the pair died.

Gardai - who suspect Mr Ruttle and Holmes died from a poisoning suicide pact - are awaiting toxicology tests taken from tissue samples from the bodies to help determine a cause of death.

It's believed Mr Ruttle had discovered Holmes had swindled local workers out of thousands of euro after she hired them to renovate the Ruttle farmhouse.

It's understood she had then planned to sell off the home and flee the country.

The Co Down grandmother was previously convicted of fraud in America and served part of a 27-month jail sentence in Texas.

She was also wanted by the PSNI, and had left a trail of other alleged fraud offences in Australia.

Her son has told the media that he will not claim her body for burial.

It's understood Holmes abandoned him when he was six months old.

He has described his mother's death as "a pathetic end to a wicked and selfish life".

If her body is not claimed for burial, West Limerick Coroner Brendan Nix will ask Limerick City and County Council to arrange a pauper's funeral.

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