Horrific Limerick nightmare draws to a close for those left behind

first_imgTwitter TAGSAskeatonJulia Holmeslimerickthomas ruttle Previous articleLimerick inquest told of suicide pact as past caught up with fraudsterNext articleFestival of fire and water Staff Reporterhttp://www.limerickpost.ie Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live Predictions on the future of learning discussed at Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival NewsHorrific Limerick nightmare draws to a close for those left behindBy Staff Reporter – April 29, 2016 1102 Facebook Advertisement Email Linkedincenter_img Billy Lee names strong Limerick side to take on Wicklow in crucial Division 3 clash RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Limerick Artist ‘Willzee’ releases new Music Video – “A Dream of Peace” Print WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads Pauline Knight speaking to the Media at Newcastle West Court House after in inquest into the death of Thomas Ruttle and Julia Holmes in Askeaton, Limerick in 2015Picture Credit Brian Gavin Press 22THE HORRIFIC nightmare that two teenage boys woke up to on May 18, 2015 is finally at an end after details of the gruesome circumstances surrounding their father’s death in Limerick were read out at a coroners court.Ian Knight (18) and his brother Kelvin (15), sat side by side at Newcastle West coroner’s court during the inquest hearing into the deaths of Thomas Ruttle and his partner Julia Holmes.Coroner, Antoinette Simon said she hoped the hearing would bring closure to the two boys and the extended family.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Their father’s death had become a national obsession after his body was found alongside that of the serial fraudster who had seemingly coerced him into ending his life in a bizarre suicide pact that she felt was the only way to bring an end to the international police hunt that was closing in on her.How the well regarded Thomas Ruttle, a gifted carpenter, mechanic and beekeeper, ended up with Julia Holmes is still a mysteryShe had up to 40 known aliases. She served time in a US penitentiary. She was the subject of an FBI probe. She was on the PSNI wanted list after she jumped bail on an £18,000 fraud and the Gardai were also on her trail.The manner in which the Ruttle and Knight families endured their own nightmare was a testament to their dignity and decency.Intimate details of the life and death of Thomas Ruttle were laid bare in the cold surrounds of a West Limerick courthouse.Julia Holmes may have died alongside Thomas Ruttle, but she was very much on her own in the memory of those she left behind. There was no one to claim her remains. No family members attended the inquest in to her death.They were left behind when she abandoned her only son 40 years ago when he was just an infant.Speaking after the coroner’s verdict, the grandparents of Mr Ruttle’s teenage sons said they hoped the inquest may bring some sort of closure to what has been an horrific period in their lives.Ted and Pauline Knight, whose daughter Lian was previously in a relationship with Thomas Ruttle, said they hoped their grandsons would be able to rebuild their lives.“I think they were in shock and today I think clarified a lot of stuff for them. I think now they understand things a little better than they did I think, and they can get on with their lives now,” Mr Knight said.The couple, who ran a marina in Dromineer, Co Tipperary, described Thomas Ruttle who previously worked for them, as a “quiet man”.“He was a carpenter and he was a mechanic and he had wonderful hands. He was a very quiet unassuming man – an absolute gentleman,” he said.When asked how Mr Ruttle had been taken in by Julia Holmes, he replied: “They owed a lot of money, we hear that, we don’t know”.He said they never met Julia Holmes “thanks be to God”.It is understood that Mr Ruttle had become estranged from his family when he began his relationship with the 63-year-old fraudster.“We never wanted to meet her,” they said.Leaving the court house the grandparents said their focus was now on their grandsons and helping them close what has been undoubtedly a very difficult chapter in their young lives.“Hopefully this will close it for them”, Mr Knight said. WhatsApp Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed live last_img read more

Medal of Honor moment

first_imgOn Friday, three recipients of the nation’s highest military award ― all Vietnam veterans ― toured Harvard’s Memorial Church. They were part of an advance team for the South Carolina-based Congressional Medal of Honor Society, which will hold its annual convention in Boston from Sept. 15 to 20 and include a Harvard venue for the first time. Expected at the convention are about 65 of the 79 living medal recipients.The church, which was dedicated in 1932 as a memorial to the Harvard students, graduates, and faculty killed during World War I, will host a private event on Sept. 18 honoring recipients who had died in the previous year. “This is the one thing that’s really important” at every convention, said Victoria Kueck, the society’s director of operations.So far, there have been no deaths in the past year among recipients. “The count is zero,” said 30-year Navy veteran Thomas G. Kelley of Somerville. The remembrance ceremony will take place in any case.Kelley was awarded the medal for leading a 1969 rescue mission by eight riverine assault craft in Kién Hòa Province, Vietnam. Of the years since, he said, “I picked up the pieces and moved on.”In addition to the private event in September, organizers hope to schedule a gathering where veterans and the University’s community of active service members can meet the medal winners.“I’m really excited for the fall,” said Lieutenant Katie E. Burkhart of the Navy Reserve, who watched the tour unfold late Friday morning. She’s a 2016 Master in Public Policy (M.P.P.) candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School.“We are all so proud of hosting this on campus,” said Thomas Reardon ’68, who served in Vietnam as an Army infantry officer and today is president of the Harvard Veterans Alumni Organization.About 250 current students are either veterans or are in school while on active duty, he said. About 25 undergraduates are enrolled in the Reserve Officers Training Corps, which was welcomed back to Harvard in 2011 after a hiatus of 40 years.ROTC member Charlotte “Charley” Falletta ’16 represented the group during the tour.“It’s incredible humbling,” she said of seeing three Medal of Honor recipients at once. “They’re hard to come by.”Harvard’s relationship to military service goes well back into the 17th century, starting with the 1636-1638 Pequot War. “Our history is proud and long,” Reardon said. Over centuries of American wars, more than 1,200 Harvard students and graduates have lost their lives.Aside from the Army and Navy service academies, Harvard has more Medal of Honor recipients ― 18 ― than any other U.S. institution of higher education. That number could grow by one, joked Reardon to Kelley, “If Tom wants to take a couple of courses.”“I wish I had gone to Harvard,” offered retired Army Colonel Bruce P. Crandall, a Washington state resident who returned from more than 900 combat flying missions in Vietnam with his sense of humor intact. “I went to seven universities before I got a degree.”Crandall was awarded the Medal of Honor in 2007 for flying repeated evacuation and supply missions in an unarmed helicopter during the 1965 Battle of Ia Drang, fictionalized in the 2002 Mel Gibson movie “We Were Soldiers.” Crandall, who was first awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, arrived at Memorial Church with his dog Huey, who napped through the tour while tucked into a blue duffel bag. (The Bell UH-1 Iroquois helicopters of the Vietnam era were nicknamed “Hueys.”)With Crandall and Kelley on the church tour was 27-year Army veteran Harold A. Fritz, president of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. Fritz was awarded the medal for directing the hand-to-hand defense of an armored column in January 1969, while surrounded by the enemy in Binh Long Province, South Vietnam.A plaque naming all of Harvard’s Medal of Honor recipients, including eight from the Civil War, hangs on the north wall of the church, which now memorializes Harvard’s dead from World War I to Vietnam. The list of dead from World War II alone, 697 names engraved into stone, covers an entire wall, floor to ceiling.Three of Reardon’s classmates were among the 22 the University lost to Vietnam. The University claims one Medal of Honor recipient from the conflict, Army Staff Sergeant Robert C. Murray, who left Harvard Business School to enlist. He was killed in 1970.Thomas J. Lyons, chairman of the Boston Congressional Medal of Honor and a member of its convention committee, looked on as the three war heroes toured Memorial Church, then stood together making plans for September.The society has held its convention in Boston twice before, in 2001 and 2006, he said. Both times the remembrance ceremony took place in Boston’s Old North Church, which played a role in Paul Revere’s midnight ride during the Revolution.But, said Lyons, why not Memorial Church, a shrine to the dead of so many American wars? It is just a few hundred yards from Cambridge Common, where in 1775 the first American army was mustered. Walking into the solemn space, he said, “just blew me away.”last_img read more