Investigations are underway after a Dundalk man on trial for the murder of Crossmaglen GAA star James Hughes killed himself in the holding cell of a Dublin courthouse.
Shane Rogers was found dead in his cell at Cloverhill court after he was remanded in custody until next month.
The 32-year-old from Dundalk was awaiting transfer back to Cloverhill Prison when he was undiscovered in an unconscious state. He died later at Tallaght hospital.
Rogers was on suicide watch and checked every 15 minutes after admitting last week that he could not live with himself after shooting Hughes in a taxi outside a Dundalk house.
Police believe he shot Hughes after he had spotted the GAA player chatting to a former girlfriend in a Dundalk nightclub. The 21-year-old girl, Patricia Byrne, and a taxi driver, Anthony Callan, were also injured in the gun attack.
Two separate investigations are now underway into how Hughes managed to kill himself whilst in custody.
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He had threatened to kill himself in the immediate wake of the murder before he handed himself in to police. When he was cautioned at the Dundalk station, he said: “I apologise to him and to his family and friends and to Trish Byrne. I am sorry for what I did. I cannot live with myself for doing this.”
Judge Flann Brennan had directed that Hughes receive medical and psychiatric attention at the first court case last week.
The Irish Prison Service are to investigate whether he remained under observation while he was in the holding cell at Cloverhill. A police investigation is also underway.
Parents Sean and Mary Rogers said they were devastated by their son’s death.
“We are totally devastated and in total shock over his tragic death,” they said in a statement. “We would like to make it known that Shane had been broken-hearted over the death of Mr Hughes and the injuries to Ms Patricia Byrne and Mr Anthony Callan.
“Shane was totally remorseful over what happened in the tragic events that Sunday morning.”
Family solicitor Martin Crilly told reporters that he knew Rogers for 15 years and described him as ‘the backbone of the family’.
Crilly said: “I had the highest regard for him. He looked after the younger members of the family and he was loyal to his family.”