independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Inquest hears how man was beaten to death on street

AN inquest into the death of homeless man Eddie Joe Clancy, who died after he was attacked on the street in Tralee in August 2006, has heard his killer repeatedly stamped and then jumped on Mr Clancy's head before being dragged away from the scene.

Eddie Joe CLancy died at Kerry General Hospital in the early hours of August 15, 2006, after he was attacked close to The Gem shop on Bridge Street, Tralee.

In March 2009 Brendan O'Connor of Monalee House, Monavalley, Tralee, a former bouncer at Minstrel's Bar on Bridge Street, received an eight year prison sentence having pleaded guilty to Eddie Joe Clancy's manslaughter in the Central Criminal Court.

The Inquest into Eddie Joe Clancy's death, held before North Kerry Coroner Helen Lucey in Tralee on Friday, heard from a number of witnesses who had seen the attack and its aftermath.

Two witnesses, Michael Coffey who had been drinking with Mr Clancy in the hours prior to his death and Robert Quigley then working as a bouncer at the Abbey Inn, Tralee, told the inquest that they had seen Eddie Joe Clancy spitting in Brendan O'Connor's face after a row had broken out between the two men.

Mr Quigley said he saw Brendan O'Connor following Eddie Joe Clancy "at a fast pace" and then saw "hands and legs flying."

He said he witnessed Brendan O'Connor repeatedly kicking and stamping on Eddie Joe Clancy's head before being pulled away by another unidentified man. Mr Quigley said that before he left the scene of the attack Brendan O'Connor "got free" from the man who was trying to restrain him and jumped on Eddie Joe Clancy's head one last time.

Another witness who came on the scene of the attack, Pat O'Shea, said in a statement to the inquest that he saw Brendan O'Connor approach Eddie Joe Clancy from behind, knock him to the ground and then kick and stamp on him "a good few times." Mr O'Shea said he saw "a lot of blood on the ground."

Two off duty gardaí who were socialising nearby in Sean Og's bar were alerted to what had happened by a staff member who saw Eddie Joe Clancy lying on the pavement in a pool of blood. The gardaí attempted to administer first aid and Mr Clancy was rushed to Kerry General Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 2.59am.

Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis said Eddie Joe CLancy had died as a result of severe blunt force trauma consistent with kicking and stamping. He said there were indications of the tread pattern from a shoe on his body.

Questioned about Eddie Joe Clancy's health, Dr Curtis said that although his medical history included a "possible" HIV diagnosis a post mortem examination showed no evidence of any natural disease. Dr Curtis said Eddie Joe Clancy was "a healthy man" when he was killed.

Brendan O'Connor, who was in Tralee Courthouse for the proceedings, declined to make any comment when asked if he would like to address the inquest.

Coroner Helen Lucey recorded a verdict of death by manslaughter in accordance with the findings of the Central Criminal Court.

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