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Melissa Mahon - killed by Ronald McManus aka Ronnie Dunbar

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Melissa Mahon - killed by Ronald McManus aka Ronnie Dunbar

Post  Guest on Wed 12 Nov - 13:33



Man charged with murder of Sligo teen
Friday, 11 April 2008 22:45
A 43-year-old man has been charged with the murder of 14-year-old Melissa Mahon in Sligo town.

A large crowd has gathered at Sligo Court house in anticipation of Ronald McManus also known as Ronnie Dunbar being brought before a special sitting tonight.

They shouted abuse at the accused as he was driven in the side gate to the courthouse.

In a brief hearing with Judge Oliver McGuinness, he was charged with the murder of Melissa Mahon on a date unknown between 14 and 30 September 2006 at his address 63 Rathbraughan Park, Sligo.

The court was told that when the charge was put to him at Sligo garda station tonight, he replied 'nothing to say'.

Ronnie Dunbar was granted free legal aid and remanded in custody to appear again in court on 17 April

As he was driven away in a garda car, the crowd pelted eggs and stones at the vehicle.

14-year-old Melissa Mahon was reported missing from her home in Sligo in September 2006 and in February of this year, gardaí received information which led them to search a lake in Sligo town.

The Garda Underwater Unit recovered skeletal remains from Lough Gill and DNA testing and dental records identified the remains as those of Melissa.

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Re: Melissa Mahon - killed by Ronald McManus aka Ronnie Dunbar

Post  Susan on Wed 12 Nov - 14:37

Poor child!


RIP Melissa

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Re: Melissa Mahon - killed by Ronald McManus aka Ronnie Dunbar

Post  Guest on Fri 24 Apr - 23:06

Melissa case suspect says I didn't rape daughters
Little doubt amongst gardai that body found in lake is missing girl

By JEROME REILLY


Sunday February 17 2008

The gardai were told they would find Melissa in Lough Gill wrapped in a sleeping bag and at a very specific spot in the seven-mile long lake.

And that is where the Garda sub aqua divers who had spent days trawling in the stinking black mud that lies beneath the dark waters made the heartbreaking discovery of skeletal remains last week.

They also found a nightdress and what appeared to be duvet-type covering

Though it will be weeks before a positive identification can be made, using DNA testing and dental records, there is little doubt in the minds of investigating officers that the body is that of Melissa Mahon who was just 14 when she disappeared in September 2006.

The specific information which gardai believed was convincing enough to warrant the intensive and painstaking search came from a teenage girl who knew Melissa.

That girl, now in the care of the HSE, had initially made serious allegations against her own father, alleging that he had sexually abused and raped both her and her sister. She said her sister had been made pregnant by their father.

She also told stunned detectives that she had information about Melissa. She claimed that her father had, in a moment of aggression, told her that he had killed Melissa, wrapped her body in a duvet or sleeping bag and dumped the body in the lake at a specific spot.

On February 2, Garda divers entered the lake for the first time, searching for the slight and vulnerable little girl who vanished from her home at Rathbraughan Park in Sligo town some 19 months ago.

The location where the remains were found is some 7km from her home and within sight of Yeats's famed lake isle of Inishfree.

The shoreline around that part of the lake is densely wooded and the boreen down to the water is shrouded with holly and other mature trees, though accessible from the main road which skirts around the lake.

The search, though based on specific information, was difficult. Two winters have passed since Melissa went missing and in the dark months the lake is often tumultuous as winds whip in from the Atlantic.

Locals who regularly use the waterway felt there was little chance of finding a body in such a large lake because the wind-driven currents and eddies could have swept the body far away from the location where it entered the water. Lough Gill is 120 feet at its deepest.

Even in these first days of spring, the search had to be called off at one stage because of foul weather, but as soon as the water settled the divers set off from the quayside near the fortified manor house of Parkes Castle and travelled over to the other side of the lake to continue their grim work.

The information was the breakthrough detectives had been waiting for.

Melissa was one of a family of 10 children of Freddie and Mary Mahon. They had come back to Sligo from London some years before their daughter's disappearance -- ostensibly to bring up their children in the safer environment of the west of Ireland, far from the hardness of the English capital.

But Melissa found it hard to settle. In the words of one detective she was a vulnerable girl and the relationships which were central to her life had become fraught.

Her parents had concerns about a friendship she had developed with an older man.

After she went missing and the alarm was raised by her parents there was a feeling, at least in the beginning, that she may have run away from home. She had run away the previous June but had returned and she did have contact with social services.

Initially at least she was regarded as just another teenager overwhelmed in the emotional maelstrom of adolescence. Foul play was not immediately suspected.

Her mother Mary made an emotional plea for her to return home.

"Please come home darling. You can contact either me or your sisters Leanne and Yvonne on the phone," she said.

Searches were also carried out around her old London neighbourhood. As her disappearance hit the papers there were possible sightings of Melissa around Athlone and other locations and there were rumours that she had run away with a teenage boy of about her own age. All proved groundless.

But detectives were soon convinced that she had come to harm.

The Christmas after her disappearance there was a renewed appeal for help with no response and another heartfelt plea was made on the anniversary of her disappearance, but still there was no sign.

Now, following the additional information received by gardai from the young woman and the tragic discovery of human bones in the lake, it is inevitable that Melissa's disappearance will be ramped up to a full murder investigation, once there is a positive identification of the remains.

A man who described himself as the prime suspect in the case gave an interview to the Sligo Weekender newspaper last week following a report published in the Sunday World alleging that an "incest beast" was responsible for the death.

In his interview with the Sligo newspaper, the man denied he was a registered sex offender in Britain and he claimed that he had helped Melissa in the weeks before she disappeared.

He said: "I certainly did not murder and dump this young girl's body in the lake. It was her safety I was concerned with at all times."

The man added: "I am not a sex offender and I did not rape my two daughters."

He claimed that he received a phone call from a man in Co Leitrim in the early hours of September 14 and claimed that Melissa came on the phone and begged him to take her home. "I said I couldn't pick her up because she is in the care of the authorities," he said.

The self-confessed suspect claimed that Melissa had turned up at his door "all cut and bleeding".

"I said I would contact the authorities in Sligo and did so on September 14," he said.

Questioned by a local reporter about his daughter's allegation of rape against him, he said: "She is not well and had been taking drugs because she was keeping bad company". He added: "I have a history but I am not a pervert and I did not rape my daughters."

The man said he was shot three times by drug dealers and moved to Scotland under the witness protection programme. He claimed that he moved from Scotland to Ireland after suffering what he called "racist abuse".

The man said accusations against him were hurtful as he was very fond of Melissa. "I became close to Melissa and these allegations are totally devastating," he said.

- JEROME REILLY

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Re: Melissa Mahon - killed by Ronald McManus aka Ronnie Dunbar

Post  Guest on Fri 24 Apr - 23:06

Man threw girl's body into river, court told
Ronald McManus, also known as Ronnie Dunbar, is accused of killing 14-year-old Melissa Mahon. The schoolgirl often stayed at Dunbar's house, a court was told. Photograph: Garrett White/Collins CourtIn this section »
Ex-GAA treasurer raises €65,000 to repay clubNo plans to suspend eagle chick project over poisoningCouncil using non-compliant quarriesObjections mount against Doolin Cave tourist developmentStrong current of rugby at Limerick RiverfestTHE JURY in the trial of a Sligo man accused of murdering a 14-year-old girl has been told that it will hear from the accused man’s daughter that she saw him tie the schoolgirl’s body up in a sleeping bag and throw it in a river.

Ronald McManus (44), also known as Ronnie Dunbar, of Rathbraughan Park, Sligo, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Melissa Mahon in Co Sligo between September 14th and 30th, 2006.

He also denies threatening to kill or cause serious harm to his daughter during the same period.

Isobel Kennedy SC, prosecuting, opened the trial by telling the jury that a daughter of the accused man would give evidence that Melissa Mahon was her friend and that she came home to find her father and Melissa lying on a bed with her father’s arm around Melissa’s neck.

Ms Kennedy said that the daughter would say her father put Melissa into a sleeping bag which he tied with a man’s tie and put into the boot of his car.

The accused allegedly drove with two daughters in the car to the river Bonnet where he allegedly threw Melissa’s body into the river. It will be alleged that he then brought his daughters to football, Ms Kennedy said.

Melissa Mahon was the youngest child in a family of ten, said Ms Kennedy

Her parents were from Sligo but had moved to England in 1969. The family returned to Ireland in the summer of 2005. Melissa and a sister attended school and became close friends with two daughters of the accused.

The Dunbar family lived on the same estate and Ms Kennedy told the jury that it would hear that Melissa spent a lot of time in the accused man’s house.

Ms Kennedy said that Melissa ran away from home on a number of occasions and that a social worker had become involved. In August 2006 the girl ran away from home and was later taken into residential care.

On September 14th, 2006 Melissa was due to be taken by a social worker to a foster home.

She left the care of the social worker when she was went to a bathroom to change her clothes and was not seen again.

The court heard that in January 2008 gardaí spoke to the accused man’s daughter after receiving information.

Melissa’s remains were found on the shore of Lough Gill in Sligo in the following weeks. Ms Kennedy said bones, a sleeping bag and a nightdress were among the items recovered.

Mary Mahon, the mother of the deceased, said her daughter called to the accused man’s house “all the time” after school and at weekends. She said Mr Dunbar took Melissa, her sister and two of his daughters in his car to places like Rosses Point and Strandhill.

Mrs Mahon said that in August 2006 Melissa left her home during the night and was found in the shed of the Dunbar house with one of the accused man’s daughters. Mrs Mahon said she slapped her daughter on the back when she found her there.

The following day Melissa again left home and Mrs Mahon rang gardaí and said her daughter was probably in the accused man’s house. She was missing on that occasion for three weeks.

Under cross-examination Mrs Mahon agreed with Brendan Grehan SC, defending, that her family had been engaged with social services in England and two older daughters were on the child protection register there.

Mrs Mahon agreed with Mr Grehan that she was aware that Melissa had alleged that she had been abused physically by her mother and sexually by her father.

She also agreed that she declined to make a statement to gardaí in relation to her daughter being missing and said, “it wasn’t up to me, she wasn’t in my care”.

Mrs Mahon agreed that she told the social worker that Melissa no longer had any family and that she threatened to beat Melissa if she saw her.

Melissa’s sister Leeanna (19) told the court that she and Melissa visited the Dunbars nearly every day. She told Ms Kennedy that on one occasion the accused asked Melissa to rub Vaseline on to a tattoo on his arm and that they would often sit on the sofa together.

Ms Mahon said she saw the accused lying on the sofa with Melissa sitting between his legs with her head on his chest. She told the court that after Melissa went missing she found a photo of the accused in a box in Melissa’s bedroom.

The trial continues.

This article appears in the print edition of the Irish Times

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Re: Melissa Mahon - killed by Ronald McManus aka Ronnie Dunbar

Post  Guest on Fri 24 Apr - 23:07

Sligo teenager was 'very vulnerable'
Friday, 24 April 2009 22:23
A social worker has told the trial of a man accused of murdering Sligo teenager Melissa Mahon that the girl was very vulnerable.

Ronald McManus, also known as Ronald Dunbar, of Rathbraughan Park in Sligo, denies murdering 14-year-old Melissa Mahon in 2006.

The trial has been hearing evidence from social workers and gardaí who encountered the 14-year-old before her death.

AdvertisementA senior social worker also said that Melissa never settled at a residential care home prior to her disappearence.

Judith McLoughlin, a manager at the Lisnanogue centre told the Central Criminal Court that Melissa didn't appear to buy into a programme of care on offer to her.

Earlier, a HSE social worker told the Central Criminal Court that the young girl was very vulnerable.

Donna McTague told the court that Melissa Mahon left a Sligo care facility a number of times without permission.

Two Sligo gardaí later gave evidence of being called to help return Melissa Mahon to the care home.

Both gardaí told the court that on 13 September 2006 Melissa and another girl appeared to have superficial cuts on their forearms.

Garda Aisling Fallon told the court that she found a piece of green glass on Melissa, which the teenagers may have used to make the cuts.

Later, a number of Sligo gardai told the court that Melissa was reported missing on the 14 September, 2006.

A garda told the court that the report to the radio room at Sligo station was recorded on the force's internal police computer system known as PULSE.


Another witness, Jane McColl, told the court that she was asked to foster Melissa on an emergency basis on 13 September 2006.

Ms McColl gave evidence that the teenager later left her home after a phone call that appeared to upset her.

She said the girl left in her bare feet.

In a written statement read to the court another witness said Melissa later arrived at their home asking to make a phone call.

The remains of Melissa McMahon were discovered in February 2008 at Lough Gill.

The trial continues.

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Re: Melissa Mahon - killed by Ronald McManus aka Ronnie Dunbar

Post  Guest on Sat 25 Apr - 0:20

Oh God. How awful.

RIP Melissa, sleep well now

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Re: Melissa Mahon - killed by Ronald McManus aka Ronnie Dunbar

Post  Guest on Mon 27 Apr - 22:31

Photo of accused found under girl's pillow


Monday, 27 April 2009 16:31
The trial of a man accused of murdering a 14-year-old Sligo schoolgirl has heard that a photograph of the accused man was found under the pillow of the teenager's bed in a care home.

Social Care Worker Fiona Keogh told the court that Melissa Mahon was supposed to stay at the care home from 28 August 2006 until early September 2006.

She stayed at the home for eight nights and then went missing.

Ms Keogh said that during the second week of the placement she was making Melissa's bed when she found the photograph of Ronald McManus with either 'Best wishes' or 'Good wishes' and the name 'McManus' written on it.

Mr McManus, also known as Ronnie Dunbar, of Rathbraughan Park in Sligo, denies murdering Melissa Mahon.


The social worker said the photograph was a 'cut out' and was about the size of the palm of her hand.

She told the court that she placed the photograph on Ms Mahon's bedside locker and did not record the matter in a log book, as she wished to discuss the matter with the girl before doing so.

Ms Keogh said she did not get to speak with Ms Mahon about the photograph but she did tell another member of staff.

Care home staff told the court that Ms Mahon had a habit of running away from the Care Home.


Melissa Mahon disappeared in September 2006. Her body was found in Lough Gill in February 2008.

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Mahon jury shown photographic evidence

Post  Guest on Fri 1 May - 10:32

Tuesday, 28 April 2009 16:30
The jury in the trial of a Sligo man accused of murdering a 14-year-old schoolgirl has been shown photographs of human remains found during garda searches of Lough Gill.


44-year-old Ronald McManus, also known as Ronnie Dunbar, denies murdering Melissa Mahon in September 2006.


The jury was shown photographs of teeth, hair and bones that were found in locations around the shoreline of Lough Gill.

The photographs show a jaw bone, fragments of skull, leg, arm and rib bones found in a number of locations. Clumps of hair were also found on branches.


Gardaí also found a sleeping bag and items of clothing including a child's night dress and a man's neck tie.


Earlier in the prosecution's opening statement the court was told that Ronnie Dunbar's daughters will give evidence in the trial.

The court heard they will give evidence that they witnessed Melissa Mahon's body being tied-up in a sleeping bag with a man's tie and dumped in the River Bonnet in Sligo, which flows into Lough Gill.

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Daughter gives evidence in Mahon trial

Post  Guest on Fri 1 May - 10:35

Wednesday, 29 April 2009 20:45
The daughter of a man accused of murdering a 14-year-old girl has told the Central Criminal Court that her sister told her their father had killed the schoolgirl.

Shirley Conroy said her sister Samantha made the claim in January 2008 and the gardaí were called.

Human remains were found on the shores of Lough Gill the following month.

Earlier, a detective garda told the court that Samantha Dunbar said her father had strangled Melissa Mahon and placed her body in a sleeping bag and dumped it.

Ronald McManus, also known as Ronnie Dunbar, of Rathbraughan Park, Sligo, denies murdering Melissa Mahon in September 2006.

Det Garda Pauline McDonagh told the Central Criminal Court she was called to a house in Rathbraughan Park on 31 January 2008 and later took statements from one of Mr Dunbar's daughters.

She told the court that Samantha Dunbar told her that her father had killed Melissa and that she had assisted in disposing of the body.

During cross examination, Det McDonagh strenuously denied that she had ever told Mr Dunbar that the case should never have come to court.

Defence barrister Brendan Grehan put it to Det McDonagh that she had made the remark during a friendly exchange with him.

She said she 'absolutely, categorically and definitely' never said that and would have no reason to say it.

Shirley Conroy also told the court that Melissa Mahon stayed in her father's house after she ran away from home and from the care of the HSE.

She said she knew of occasions when Ronnie Dunbar told gardaí and social services he did not know where Melissa Mahon was when she was in his house.

Ms Conroy also said that Mr Dunbar had a back-door key to the house next door, which he previously lived in, and sometimes he allowed Melissa Mahon to go into that house when people called to his home.

She said she had made it clear that she did not think Melissa should be in the house and that it was inappropriate.

Ms Conroy also identified a nightdress, found along with human remains on the shores of Lough Gill, as one belonging to her sister.

She also identified a necktie found as one worn by her father.

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Court told of effort to resuscitate Mahon

Post  Guest on Fri 1 May - 10:35

Thursday, 30 April 2009 22:41
The daughter of a man accused of murdering Melissa Mahon has told the Central Criminal Court she tried to resuscitate the teenager after finding her lying on a bed with her father at their home in Sligo.

Giving evidence by video link, Samantha Conroy said Melissa Mahon was struggling to breathe and had gone purple as she lay on her father's bed.

He father had been lying on the bed with Melissa and had his arm around her neck. She said when she entered the room he jumped up and left.

Ronald McManus, also known as Ronnie Dunbar, of Rathbraughan Park in Sligo, denies murdering Ms Mahon in September 2006.

Earlier, Ms Conroy told the court that the 14-year-old had told her she was in a sexual relationship with Ronnie Dunbar.


Ms Conroy said her father had overheard the conversation and later admitted it.

She said Melissa had slept downstairs in the house with her father when she came to their home after running away from home and also slept with him in his bedroom.

Ms Conroy also told the court her father once told Ms Mahon to hide behind the couch when gardaí and a social worker called to the house looking for her.

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Re: Melissa Mahon - killed by Ronald McManus aka Ronnie Dunbar

Post  Guest on Fri 1 May - 11:27

How awful for the daughter, knowing your father has just murdered a young girl...

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Re: Melissa Mahon - killed by Ronald McManus aka Ronnie Dunbar

Post  Guest on Wed 6 May - 10:33

http://www.tv3.ie/article.php?article_id=13190&locID=1.2.139.&pagename=home

05.05.09

The Trial of Ronald Dunbar, the 44 year old accused of the murder of Melissa Mahon continued today with evidence from his younger daughter.



In evidence given to Gardai the 14 year old, who cannot be named for legal reasons said that she and her sister Samantha held either side of a tie that their father wrapped around Melissa Mahon's neck.



Parts of her statement to Gardai were read out to her as she continued to give evidence by video link. Continuing with her statement she told Gardai that, on the evening in question, when it is alleged the accused killed Melissa, that the 14-year-old was on the bed and her father was behind her with his right arm around her neck.



She said she never saw someone being killed before and thought it must be fake however said also she could see that Melissa's eyes were closed.



Forty-four-year-old Ronald Dunbar, from Rathbraughan Park in Sligo, denies murdering 14-year-old Melissa Mahon in September 2006.The trial continues.

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Re: Melissa Mahon - killed by Ronald McManus aka Ronnie Dunbar

Post  Guest on Wed 6 May - 11:33

This made me feel sick. Even though his daughter hadnt seen anyone being killed before she knows right from wrong and knows when someone is being tortured and in pain FFS!

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Tie was held around Mahon's neck, court told

Post  Guest on Wed 6 May - 21:38

Wednesday, 6 May 2009 19:45
A 16-year-old girl has told the Central Criminal Court that she and her sister held a tie around Melissa Mahon's neck as the schoolgirl struggled to breathe.

The daughter of Ronald McManus said she held the tie because she was afraid of her father.

Mr McManus, also known as Ronnie Dunbar, 44, of Rathbraughan Park in Sligo denies murdering Melissa Mahon in September 2006.

The girl, who cannot be named, told the court that her father had placed the tie around Melissa Mahon's neck and told her and her older sister Samantha to hold it while he left the room.

When asked why her evidence differed from her sister she said: 'People perceive things differently when they are in shock.'

The girl said Melissa Mahon was unconscious but trying to breathe as they held the tie for a few moments.

The court was told that she then let go because she had left the cooker on downstairs. When asked if she was serious about this she said she was.

She also said she thought it was some kind of joke but was frightened of her father who was a violent man.

Mr McManus' youngest daughter, giving evidence by video link, said she never heard of the practice of young people placing things around their necks to stop each other breathing.

She also said she knew her father was not giving Melissa Mahon a cuddle when she saw his arm around her neck. She said it was violent and he was choking her.

She told the Court that she could not 'open up' about Melissa Mahon's death until after her father had been charged with murder.

The 16-year-old told the court that she waited until July last year to tell the truth because she was no longer scared as he could not get to her.

During cross-examination by Brendan Grehan the girl admitted that she had made several false statements to gardaí, to family and to a radio station.

She said while her father had not specifically told her to make up stories, he had put ideas into her head about what had happened.

She said he repeatedly suggested to her that her sister did it and she believed he had started to believe this himself.

The girl admitted that she had also blamed her sister, Samantha, for Melissa Mahon's death but today said she had done so because she was frightened of her father.

She also admitted telling an aunt in a phone conversation that her sister 'was never going to admit it'.

She also agreed with Mr Grehan that she had phoned Childline at one point to complain about the gardaí. She said at the time she felt uneasy and intimidated by detectives.

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Mahon pregnancy test 'positive', court told

Post  Guest on Fri 8 May - 12:40

Thursday, 7 May 2009 19:07
Two teenage friends of Melissa Mahon have told the Central Criminal Court they witnessed the 14-year-old take a pregnancy test which was positive.

The girls, who gave evidence by video link, told the court that while on a day out in Sligo town they bought a pregnancy test, which Melissa Mahon used in McDonald's.

One of the girls, when asked what Melissa Mahon's reaction was, replied that she was 'kind of delighted, in a way' when the result was positive.

The evidence comes on day 12 of the trial of Ronald McManus, also known as Ronnie Dunbar, of Rathbraughan Park in Sligo who denies murdering the schoolgirl in September 2006.

It follows earlier evidence from two other witnesses who said they had been told that Melissa was pregnant.

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