'There's going to be a life for a life. He killed our brother and we're going to kill him'
Published 26/11/2010 | 05:00
THE widow of a violent Traveller who was killed by his son with a spade expressed relief last night that her son will not be locked up for life.
But the dead man's sister warned the killer he would be "safer in jail" and that there would be a "life for a life".
James McInerney (23) last night began an 18-month sentence after a jury found him guilty of the manslaughter of his father, James "Jimmy" McInerney Snr (56).
The killer expressed "remorse" but "relief" at the outcome of the case.
His mother, Eileen McInerney, had told her son's murder trial at the Central Criminal Court: "I don't think I'd be here today only for him."
But Mr McInerney Snr's youngest sister, also named Eileen, warned her nephew: "There's going to be a life for a life. He killed our brother and we're going to kill him."
There was a heavy garda presence as McInerney Jnr was led away from court. Before the verdict was read out, Judge John Edwards told the dead man's extended family that he would take a serious view of any disturbances.
Speaking through her solicitor, Gerard O'Brien, who is based in Thurles, Mrs McInerney described her "upset and trauma" after the events at her family home in Lacey Avenue in Templemore, Co Tipperary, on June 17, 2009.
On that date, her son, James McInerney Jnr, beat his father to death with a spade saying it was "payback time".
Mrs McInerney had feared that a "long sentence" would be imposed on her son.
"She understands how difficult it is for her husband's family, that they lost a loving brother and uncle, but she hopes to pick up the pieces of her life," said Mr O'Brien.
The mother of 10 had seen her family shattered after a "three-minute" episode when her son "finally flipped".
Judge John Edwards said the evidence was "all one way" in the case -- and showed the "extraordinary adversities" in James McInerney Jnr's life.
However, Tom McInerney claimed that lies had been told about his brother.
"That's a walk-away job. You wouldn't call that justice," he said. "We're not accepting that."
Traveller support group Pavee Point called for calm.
Spokesperson Martin Collins said: "I think in a couple of weeks, people will realise it's futile to be perpetuating any conflict or hostility."
The court had been told how McInerney Jnr endured horrific beatings from his father but stayed in his family home to protect his mother.
Eileen McInerney had an arranged marriage to Mr McInerney Snr for 25 years and they had 10 children.
"He was violent and very dangerous. If he got in the house, he'd beat you up," she said.
Mrs McInerney said she did not allow him into the house when drunk. The beatings did not stop even while she was pregnant.
"He gave James an awful life. He broke his two hands and his leg."
She said her husband had forced him to drink alcohol from an early age, beating him if he refused.
Mrs McInerney added that her son wouldn't leave home "because he was very protective of me. I don't think I'd be here today, only for him."