Man pleads not guilty to pensioner’s murder

A 19-year-old Carrigallen man has denied murdering a 73-year-old man in Co Cavan in 2010.

A 19-year-old Carrigallen man has denied murdering a 73-year-old man in Co Cavan in 2010.

Brendan McGovern of Killahurk, Carrigallen was before the Central Criminal Court on Monday morning last charged with murdering pensioner John Golden on October 6, 2010.

Mr Golden, known locally as Gouldie, is understood to have sustained the alleged fatal injuries at his home in Nedd, Doogarry, Killeshandra, Co Cavan.

Mr McGovern was arraigned before Mr Justice Paul Carney on Monday and pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The judge swore in a jury of six men and six women to hear the trial, which will begin on Thursday and is expected to last six to seven days.

The assault on Mr Golden caused widespread shock in the community when it occurred nearly two years ago. A seriously injured Mr Golden was discovered by neighbours and rushed to hospital. However he passed away a month later.

A popular local character, Mr Golden was known for his love of vintage tractors and had worked as a mechanic for most of his life. He had been pictured by Leitrim Observer photographer, Willie Donnellan, at a vintage show only days before the alleged assault.

Hundreds of people made their way to the small Church of Ireland chapel in Killegar, near Carrigallen for his funeral in November 2010 with people from across both the Protestant and Catholic communities throughout Ireland coming together to mourn his passing.

Members of the Cornafean Vintage Club, of which Mr Golden was President, led a vintage tractor cavalcade in his honour with Johnny’s own beloved vintage Massey 20 at the front of the procession, bringing his remains on their final journey from Ned Doogary to Killegar.

Speaking during his funeral, historian and author, Turtle Bunbury, who interviewed Mr Golden for his book ‘Vanishing Ireland’ painted a vivid picture of ‘The Gouldie, astride his Honda 70, “maximum speed 50mph”, paying tribute to a great character, a renowned mechanic and handyman, a musician and step dancer.

Tributes poured into the Leitrim Observer following his death. He was described as a “larger than life character who never had a bad word to say about anyone” and it was observed that he “always had a happy-go-lucky nature, even though he didn’t have much!”.

“He had his music, his friends and his work and that is what got him up and out every morning. He had no care for the boom or bust of the economy, he didn’t worry about what tomorrow would bring, he just took each day as it came,” noted one long time friend.

“Words can sum up our loss. Johnny’s gone and the world is a much sadder place for that loss.”