Son 'flipped' after a lifetime of pain, court heard
THE young man who sat with his head bowed in a spotless grey suit had endured a lifetime of pain.
James 'Jimmy' McInerney Jnr finally had enough and -- on June 17, 2009 -- he "flipped" and killed his father with a spade. Last night, he began his 18 months in jail for the crime.
At just 21, he killed James 'Jimmy' Mc Inerney Snr (56). He regretted it from the moment the deed was done. He didn't want to go to jail.
In the family home in Lacey Avenue in Templemore, Co Tipperary, young Jimmy had grown up with a violent father.
Most Traveller boys his age married and moved away from home but Jimmy Jnr remained -- to protect his mother, Eileen.
For eight days, Jimmy Jnr sat inside the Central Criminal Court while his relations sat on opposite sides of the courtroom.
Seated on one side were Jimmy Jnr's mother, Eileen, his siblings, and two nuns, Sisters Breda Coman and Mary Moloney. On the other side were Jimmy McInerney Snr's brothers and sisters and extended family.
The killing of Jimmy Snr has left the family torn apart. There were painful moments in the court case when Jimmy Snr's widow, Eileen, recalled how he had thrown a gas bottle at her while she was pregnant.
Or the time when she had to get 50 stitches in hospital after her husband smashed a glass bottle in her face.
She also heard what her son, Jimmy Jnr, had told gardai after he killed his father. "If I didn't put Daddy down, he'd have put me down," he had explained, saying it was self-defence.
The young man described his father as one of the "most evil" men you could meet. He said his dad broke his two arms by throwing him off a fence -- and that he broke his legs when he was a little boy of seven or eight. He also beat his mother constantly.
"Mammy has scars from 1989. My mother blames my father for the handicapped children she has -- for the beatings he gave her."
Srs Coman and Moloney, who acted as social workers for the family, noticed how "good" Jimmy Jnr was to his disabled siblings.
On the day he struck his father with a spade, the court was told Jimmy Snr was drunk.
His neighbour heard him roaring at his son to come out and fight. He called him a "Nancy boy" and his wife, a "slut".
Eileen McInerney told the court how, over 25 years of married life, she went on the run with her children, moving between women's refuges, neighbours' homes and hospital. She even hid from her husband in ditches.
Jimmy Snr hit her with "bottles, sticks, irons bars, everything he could get his hands on".
Jimmy Jnr was "sick of walking away", and said he wanted to stand his ground the day he killed his father. He hit him in the head with the spade and Jimmy Snr fell to his knees. He hit him another couple of times.
"I threw the spade away. I knew I'd gone too far. It was too late," he said.