A man has pleaded guilty to killing a ‘Good Samaritan’ who took him into her Fermanagh home.

No details were heard in court on Friday, but it is understood Cavan man Joseph Dolan stabbed Pauline Kilkenny up to 30 times in her isolated bungalow between Belcoo and Garrison last November.

The 29-year-old, of no fixed abode, was due to go on trial in Dungannon on Monday accused of murdering the 59-year-old, stealing her Fiat Panda car, and implicating his former girlfriend in the killing.

However, on Friday Dolan pleaded guilty to manslaughter before Dungannon Crown Court, sitting in Belfast.

When the murder charge was put to Dolan, he replied, "Not guilty to murder,but guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility".

Cavan man Joseph Dolan pleaded guilty to the killing.

Among the wounds believed to have been inflicted were eight stab wounds to Ms Kilkenny's head and neck, two to the right side of her torso and 20 stab wounds to her back. She also suffered a number of serious head injuries caused by blunt force trauma.

The victim had provided a home for Dolan, who'd returned from the Irish Republic, where he had 27 previous convictions, including for 'violent disorder'.

Ms Kilkenny, a keen animal lover, who often took in strays to care for, was found by her sister, after concerns were raised when she did not show up for work.

Prosecution QC Ciaran Murphy told Mr Justice Colton that they had the opportunity of considering psychiatric reports, and on the balance of those reports his manslaughter plea was accepted.

In January 2013, Dolan was sentenced to three years for robbery and for beating a Drogheda pensioner 'as hard as he could' with the victim's umbrella, and then hours later stabbing a local taxi driver.

Dolan, who threatened the driver he would slit his throat, ended up stabbing him a number of times when he struggled with him. The taxi driver was later treated for puncture wounds to the back of his neck and shoulder.

The Cavan man was homeless at the time and had written letters apologising to the taxi driver and the pensioner, and entered an early guilty plea which his lawyer said was ' a genuine expression of remorse'.

As he was led out of the court on Friday after the short proceeding, Dolan did not look in the direction of the public gallery, where Ms Kilknenny's family members were sitting.

Dolan has been remanded back into custody for sentencing in the New Year.

  • Watch Paul Reilly's report: