Saturday 24 February 2018

Dad of murder victim Siobhan wants longer sentences

Siobhan Hynes
Siobhan Hynes
Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

A father whose teenage daughter was brutally murdered on a remote beach has urged the State to ensure life sentences mean life.

Andy Hynes said families of victims were being left in a constant state of anxiety and worry that killers who took the lives of their loved ones would be released.

His daughter Siobhan (17) was murdered by John McDonagh in Carraroe, Co Galway in December 1998. In 2001, he was sentenced to life for the murder.

Life-sentence prisoners serve between 17 and 20 years on average. Mr Hynes said this figure is too low.

"It's very hard to put it into words how families like us feel. There is a sentence on the whole family and it is a very severe sentence at that.

"It's awful, we're constantly expecting to hear that he will be released and that is something we just couldn't tolerate. It's on our minds every day," he said.

Mr Hynes said he felt "sickened" for other families who had to watch the killers of their loved ones walk free.

"We shouldn't even have to discuss it. Life should mean life because these people are never going to change and they should never be let out," he said.

He urged the State to review the length of life sentences to protect victims' families.

"There is a duty to the victim and their family, it shouldn't be to these killers. If this was changed, families would at least have the peace of mind that these people would never be seen in their communities again," he added.

Irish Independent

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