Ronnie Dunbar was to be king of a new world order it emerged today. His ex fiancée, Ruth Nooney, told the court today that he had told her there was a new world coming and “when it kicked off” there would be a battlefield. He would be the king of that battlefield and would bring the trusted strong with him. She wasn’t one of them though, he thought she had “flirty eyes”.
This isn’t the first time in the trial that we have heard weird and wild allegations about Dunbar’s personal beliefs. We’ve already heard, from another ex squeeze Angelique Sheridan (or Dupois, it depends who you talk to), that Ronnie had claimed to have performed an exorcism on Melissa Mahon because she was possessed by evil spirits. Ms Sheridan had appeared very worried that her boyfriend was some kind of “demon hunter”.
Today’s claims were no less bizarre. According to Ms Nooney, Dunbar frequently spoke about this “new world”. He also told her about how his ancestors had had something to do with Parkes Castle, a 17th Century Castle on the shores of Lough Gill, not that far from where Melissa Mahon’s bones were found.
Dunbar, who’s charged as Ronald McManus, denies murdering the Sligo teen or threatening to kill his daughter Samantha on an unknown date in September 2006 somewhere in Sligo.
Today his ex told the court that he had often brought Melissa up in conversation. After telling her that he had not been having a relationship with the 14-year-old, he said that he had been trying to get her away from her abusive father. She said he had been worried about becoming a scapegoat for the social workers and gardai who he considered, had not done their jobs.
Dunbar allegedly told her that he had received a call from someone saying “Dad, Dad, Dad” but it wasn’t one of his daughters. He had often asked her, Ms Nooney said, about whether she thought Melissa was alive or dead and had talked about travelling to England to find her.
Ms Nooney said she and Dunbar had been madly in love although she had left him after a conversation with her social worker in which Dunbar was mentioned. On the stand today she painted a picture of a rather controlling man who hadn’t liked her drinking or talking with other men. He had brought her to the gym and they spent most of their time together.
Two of Dunbar’s daughters had had a serious problem with their relationship and Ms Nooney said that she had needed to call the gardai after Samantha, the middle daughter, had attacked her with a penknife and kicked her door in. The youngest daughter was more affectionate though. As had happened with Angelique, the previous year, the girl had quickly formed the habit of spending most nights with her father’s partner. Ms Nooney told the court that she had even turned a downstairs playroom into a bedroom for the girl.
She told the court that she and Dunbar had gone for almost daily walks. The route was always the same, to Slishwood, where they would sit looking out over Lough Gill and talking. On two occasions Dunbar had stopped the car at a vantage point over Lough Gill, opposite Parkes Castle, looking out to the side of the lake where Melissa’s bones were lying undiscovered in the undergrowth.
The relationship ended after Ms Nooney had a conversation with her social worker at the end of 2007. Dunbar’s name was mentioned and after this conversation the relationship was over. What she learnt wasn’t shared with the court but Ms Nooney told the court she didn’t even pack, she just left.
The trial continues on Monday.