Sunday 23 April 2017

Victim’s mother breaks down as teen jailed for fatal stabbing

Youth (16) gets six years for brutal attack on Halloween

Parents of the late Lorcan O’Reilly, Paddy Rooney, right, and Jenny O’Reilly, centre, leaving court after speaking to the media. Photo: Caroline Quinn
Parents of the late Lorcan O’Reilly, Paddy Rooney, right, and Jenny O’Reilly, centre, leaving court after speaking to the media. Photo: Caroline Quinn

Andrew Phelan

The heartbroken mother of stabbing victim Lorcan O’Reilly (21) has said he was a “healthy, happy young man” and knowing she will never see him again will be “very hard”.

Jenny O’Reilly broke down in tears as she spoke after a teenager was sentenced to four-and-a-half years’ detention for her son’s manslaughter.

The accused (16) was handed down a six-year sentence, with 18 months suspended, for fatally stabbing Mr O’Reilly in the heart at a Halloween bonfire after telling him: “You don’t know who my dad is.”

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy told the Central Criminal Court at least one member of the accused’s immediate family was associated with criminal activity and a report stated that the youth was “lacking a moral compass”.

The court heard the accused was of extremely low intelligence, but had “high social standing and notoriety among his peers due to the element of criminality in his background”.

The judge said the offence was rendered “far more serious when one brings a deadly weapon into the equation”.

Lorcan O'Reilly
Lorcan O'Reilly

He said Mr O’Reilly’s family had been deeply affected by his death.

The teenager, who cannot be named because of his age, showed no emotion as the sentence was given at yesterday’s hearing, which was closed off to members of the public except close relatives of the accused and deceased. The final 18 months of the sentence will be suspended for two years, under conditions.

The defendant’s mother burst into tears and walked forward to hug him at the end of the proceedings.

Afterwards, Jenny O’Reilly, the deceased’s mother, gave a brief statement.

“We would just like to say how missed our son Lorcan will be,” she said.

“Lorcan was a healthy, happy young man and knowing we will never see him again is very hard.

“With the help of our family, friends and community we will try to be strong. We are moving forward for the sake of our children.”

The accused pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Mr O’Reilly at Oliver Bond flats in Dublin’s south inner city in the early hours of November 1, 2015.

He had denied an original charge of murder but his plea to the lesser count was accepted by the prosecution.

The court heard the accused was 14 years of age at the time of the killing.

Reading from a probation report, the judge noted that the accused had had a “very unsettled childhood” in terms of moving from place to place and had lived in three other countries.

His education was interrupted and extremely limited and in the household in which he lived “members were in fear of third parties” and had frequent visits by gardaí.

Earlier, the court heard the accused had been swinging a hurley towards the deceased while shouting: “You don’t who my dad is…You don’t know who I am.”

Mr O’Reilly took the hurley and the accused left the scene but returned and struck Mr O’Reilly in the chest with a knife.

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