A TEARFUL daughter told a court how she and her family will never forgive the man who killed their 60-year-old father in a row in an apartment last year.
Speaking just moments after Patrick Keating (49) was found guilty of the murder of grandfather Joe O'Brien, Joe's daughter Aoife spoke of how her father would never walk her or her sister Niamh down the aisle or hold their future children in his arms.
Turning from the witness box to face Keating, who had pleaded not guilty to the murder, she said: "May God forgive you because we never will."
Keating, of Moyne House, Grattan Square, Waterford city, showed no emotion as the verdict was read out.
He was also unmoved when Ms O'Brien read her impact statement and Judge Patrick McCarthy imposed the mandatory life sentence.
The accused had 17 previous convictions.
Afterwards, Ms O'Brien said on behalf of her family that her father's life was taken "tragically, needlessly and viciously" on the night of April 23, 2012.
"Today we feel that justice has been done," she told reporters in a statement.
"No words can convey the devastation we have gone through in the past 18 months.
"Having to live with the knowledge of the horrific death my father endured, and knowing that he pleaded for his life in those final moments, will haunt us as a family for the rest of our lives."
The trial at the Central Criminal Court, sitting in Waterford, heard that a row broke out before 10pm on April 23 of last year in an apartment rented by Mr O'Brien's friend, Anthony Marshall.
Mr Marshall told the court he saw Keating hitting Mr O'Brien a number of times with a dumbbell weight and stamping on his head, and said the victim's last words were "please don't hit me again".
Keating told gardai after he was arrested that there was "jealousy" involved in the row and said two women present, his partner, Michelle Hynes and Johanna Kelly were "mad about" him.
He said Mr O'Brien attacked him first when they started fighting, a claim rejected by the prosecution.
All five in the apartment had been drinking during the day. After they had dinner at about 9pm or 9.30pm, Mr O'Brien started "coming on to" Hynes, "up against her and pushing" and was kissing her on the lips.
Kelly became "jealous", he said, as Mr O'Brien was with her at the time.
Last week, Hynes (40) and Kelly (41), both of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Mr O'Brien and will be sentenced in December.
The court heard that, during the incident, they both got involved in kicking Mr O'Brien.
Ms O'Brien said the last time she saw her father alive was on his 60th birthday.
"We hugged tightly and I left him saying I would see him for a cup of tea at the weekend. If I had known that this would be the last time I would see him alive, I would have held on so tight and never, ever let go. The next time I saw my dad he was lying in a coffin," she said.