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Man admits stabbing GAA player to death during crazed fit of violence

A father-of-five has pleaded guilty to the unlawful killing of a former Fermanagh GAA player as he was about to go on trial for his murder.

Ciaran Woods was stabbed to death in Tempo on July 20, 2010.

Judge David McFarland told the jury at Enniskillen Crown Court that the prosecution had accepted a guilty plea to manslaughter by 36-year-old Gary Philip Moane, from Lisolvan Park in Brookeborough.

The judge said that the prosecution now accepted that Moane was suffering from an abnormality of mind at the time which greatly impaired his judgment and responsibility.

Earlier, prosecuting QC James Lavery told the court that having consulted with the police, prosecutors and the family of 36-year-old Mr Woods, he was now in a position to accept Moane's earlier guilty plea to manslaughter.

Mr Lavery said the prosecution was also willing to accept his guilty plea to wounding mother-of-two Kathleen McQuaid (37) on the same grounds.

After an earlier application by the defence QC Elis McDermott, Moane was rearraigned and also pleaded guilty to threatening to kill Damian Crudden.

Judge McFarland said he would sentence Moane at the beginning of next month for stabbing Mr Woods twice in the chest.

During earlier court appearances it was reported that Mr Woods, a father-of-one from Lisnaskea, was stabbed to death following a late-night party at the Tempo home of Ms McQuaid.

It was reported that the previous day Moane and a number of other people, including Mr Woods, were in a pub at Main Street, Lisnaskea, drinking until about 1am.

They had intended moving on to a bar in Brookeborough, but when unable to gain entry went to Ms McQuaid's home on the Edenmore Road.

It was also reported from the District Court that they had a couple more drinks and Mr Crudden fell asleep. Mr Woods remained drinking in the kitchen of the house for around an hour.

A detective told the court that Ms McQuaid reported hearing noises coming from the kitchen and Mr Woods saying: “No, don't be doing that.” By the tone of his voice she thought that there was something wrong.

When she went into the kitchen she found Mr Woods standing with blood coming from his T-shirt, who told her: “I've been stabbed.”

She later locked herself in her car while Mr Crudden hid nearby, as Moane reportedly kept going in and out of the house, making threatening gestures and allegedly shouting: “Come and see your friend now.”

At one stage, after smashing a car window with a vodka bottle, Moane forced Ms McQuaid back into the kitchen. Following a struggle she managed to escape and ran to a neighbour's house, despite being injured.

As she did so Moane made off in her black Hyundai Getz, which he later crashed as police attempted to stop the hijacked vehicle.

Meanwhile, Ms McQuaid and Mr Crudden, armed with a lump of wood, returned to the house and found Mr Woods lying on the kitchen floor. Mr Crudden said he was pale and that he could not find a pulse on his neck or wrist.

Belfast Telegraph