The widow of a Co Sligo man who was gunned down in 1999 has been awarded nearly 750,000 this morning in a long legal battle against the men responsible for his murder. She has made legal history as this was the first case of its kind in Ireland.
Margaret Madden, owner of a B&B at Lough Gara House in Monasteraden, Co Sligo, sued four men for the loss of her husband and her own nervous shock, and distress.
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She suffered a heart attack when she heard a loud bang and ran downstairs to find her husband face down by the car outside their house covered in blood.
Terence Madden bled to death having been shot in both legs at close range.
She has sued the four men for damages, including three who were convicted by the Special Criminal Court for the murder Michael Doohan of Ahsbury Lawns, Ballinode, Joseph Herron, formerly of Chapel Street, Ballyshannon, Co Donegal and Patrick McGrath formerly of Gurteen, Co Sligo.
The fourth man, now deceased Thomas Derrig, of Battlefield, Culfadda, Ballymote, Co Sligo pleaded guilty to possession of a sawn-off shotgun. Mrs Madden had sued his estate.
The court heard this was a contract shooting ordered by former member of the defence forces, neighbour Michael Doohan, in a grudge over the Maddens running a bed and breakfast business near his mothers B&B.
Ms Justice Mary Irvine noted Margaret Madden suffered flashbacks, post traumatic stress, terrible grief and still has trouble sleeping. The judge added it was hard to imagine the trauma Mrs Madden suffered when she went outside that morning to find her husband lying face down covered in blood.
Margaret Madden was awarded 722,000 in loss of earings and general damages. A further 40,000 was awarded to the three children and siblings of Terance Madden.
Speaking to reporters outside the court, Mrs Madden said the case had been 'difficult'. "I'm relieved, very relieved. I'd like to thank the solicitor and barristers for helping us. We feel we've done something for Terry," an emotional Mrs Madden continued, "It might help make up for what happened to him. He was a very nice person and we have very fond memories of him. Thanks to all the people who encouraged us to through the 10 years to today."
In discussing the possibility of collecting the damages from the defendents, the court was told that at least two of the parties have property and assets. Mrs Madden's lawyers said they will now be seeking to recover the amount awarded.Always be first with Sligo news - Never miss a story - Join us on Facebook