A MAN who told his former partner that he loved her and stabbed her six times in the chest has been jailed for life for murder.
June Cummins (32), a sister of the victim, said after the sentencing that her family still cannot believe she had died "in such a cruel way".
Ms Cummins said her sister's death had deeply affected their mother Barbara, brothers John, Kenny and Jason and sisters Johanna, Sabrina and Pamela and Breda's 15-year-old son.
"Breda's death caused us a lot of heartache and we will never forget her," she said.
"She was a loving, caring person and had a great heart and didn't deserve what happened to her. We are delighted now we have got justice."
McDonald was also found guilty at the Central Criminal Court of assault causing harm to John Lawlor (44), of Pearse Terrace, Castledermot, and will be sentenced later for this.
McDonald had pleaded not guilty to the murder of Ms Cummins on May 13, 2010, at Michael Dooley Terrace, Athy. His plea of guilty to manslaughter was not accepted by the DPP.
The Central Criminal Court heard McDonald has been diagnosed with alcohol dependency syndrome and schizoaffective disorder, and had been prescribed anti-psychotic drugs at the age of 16.
McDonald had previously been in a five-year relationship with Ms Cummins, who was also an alcoholic. He had told gardai it was a "tempestuous relationship" and that Ms Cummins started going out with Mr Lawlor after their break-up.
McDonald, who had been drinking alcohol on the evening of the murder and had taken sleeping tablets, had brought a kitchen knife from his home to Michael Dooley's Terrace to "rescue Breda".
He had phoned her 13 times that evening and called gardai to check on her at 11pm as he believed she was in danger.
McDonald told gardai he arrived at the house at around midnight and asked to see Ms Cummins. Mr Lawlor and the house owner, Michael Fennell, were downstairs when Ms Cummins told McDonald to come up. Mr Lawlor followed him.
A fight broke out between Mr Lawlor and McDonald, who stabbed the former in the hand.
After Mr Lawlor left the room to tend to his hand, McDonald turned to Ms Cummins and stabbed her six times in the chest and said: "I love you."
Ms Cummins was looking at him as he stabbed her and her last word was "Michael".
McDonald said he "lost the plot" and it was not his intention to kill anyone. He said Ms Cummins would wind him up with phone calls, screaming: "Rescue me! Rescue me!"
McDonald initially told gardai he thought he had only only stabbed Ms Cummins in the arm and had not intended to kill her, but described the stabbing as a "frenzy stabbing, striking her in the heart".