Wexford man on the run after walking out of open prison
A Wexford town man, serving a three-year sentence for the manslaughter of his brother, is on the run after walking out of Shelton Abbey Prison.
Martin Connors wife Patrice said the family don't know if he was dead or alive.
He was jailed last October for the killing of his brother Michael in Belvedere Grove in 2011.
Martin Connors spent the past few months at Portlaoise, where his family said 'he was a model prisoner,' but last Tuesday night (April 30), shortly after being transferred to Shelton Abbey, near Arklow, they said he walked out of the open prison.
Patrice said her husband somehow made his way to Larkin's Cross, where she met him 'at a friend's house' early last Wednesday morning.
'The guards arrived at about 4 a.m. and Martin jumped out of the window and into the fields,' she said to WexfordPeople.ie.
Patrice said the guards failed to find him and after they left, she went out looking for him. She found him after about 20 minutes of 'calling and calling' and brought him back to the garden of the house the couple had been in.
'He said he had a sore hip and asked me to promise I would stand by him.. He said he was going to hand himself in, but if he didn't, would I stand by him?' she said.
'He walked out of the garden smoking a fag and after saying he loved me more than anything else in the world, he vanished,' said Patrice, who was married to Martin on October 18 last year, five days 'before he got locked up'.
The Connors family said they heard nothing from Martin until last Thursday night when he made a '16 second phone call' to a sister Brigid.
'He told her to tell his mother and father and the lads he was fine and to tell Patrice he loved her,' said his eldest brother Thomas.
Thomas said the family were now seriously concerned for Martin's welfare.
'We're at the stage that we don't know if Martin is dead or alive,' said Patrice, appealing to him to get in touch with them.
'He has no money, no fags and hasn't even got a coat on him.. we don't know who is sustaining him, no-one's saying anything,' said Thomas.
He said the gardai believed that the family knew where Martin was, but insisted that this was not the case.
'We want to set up a search party, but we don't know where to search,' said Patrice, 'it's totally out of character for even a day to go past without him speaking to his family.'
Gardai have been asked to comment.