Saturday 21 April 2018

Man sentenced to 12 years in prison for manslaughter of archaeologist he stabbed 17 times

Archaeologist Emmet Connolly, who was stabbed to death
Archaeologist Emmet Connolly, who was stabbed to death

Alison O'Riordan

A man has been sentenced to 12 years at the Central Criminal Court for the manslaughter of archaeologist Emmett Connolly, who died after being stabbed 17 times.

Kevin Moran (30) was today (Monday) sentenced to twelve years in prison with the final two years suspended for the manslaughter of Emmett Connolly (32) on September 28, 2013.

Moran, a widowed father of three, had pleaded not guilty to murder, but guilty to the manslaughter of Mr Connolly at Lodgeview, Cootehill on September 29 2013.

In February a jury found Moran of Lodgeview, Cootehill, Co Cavan, but originally from Shankill in Dublin, not guilty of the murder but guilty of the manslaughter of Emmett Connolly after a six day trial which began on February 9.

Today Mr Justice Paul Carney sentenced Moran to twelve years imprisonment with the final two years suspended for the manslaughter of Mr Connolly, on condition that the accused enters into a bond of €1,000 to stay away from the family of the deceased.

Mr Justice Carney said due to the "gratuitous" nature of the killing and its effect on the family of the deceased, he would hand down twelve years imprisonment dating from December 7 2013, taking the accused's plea of guilty into consideration.

In a statement released today by the Connolly family, they said they were "relieved" that this process was over.

"It's been a long road to get here, today has given us some closure but we still have a long road ahead of us and an empty void."

"Emmett was our son and brother. His death has been a huge loss to our family which can never be replaced."

The Connolly family also wished to thank their family and friends, Bailieboro District Gardai, their legal team and victim support at the Central Criminal Court.

Last month the father of archaeologist Emmett Connolly, Frank Connolly told the court in his victim impact statement how his family has gone from a "functioning family" to a "broken entity on a journey to hell".

"How can any parent.....mother or father... stand here and try to put across the pain or loss of such a tragic event. This loss goes on as long as we live - our lifetime sentence," Mr Connolly read.

The court heard at the time how Emmett Connolly from Rockcorry, Co Monaghan, had returned to Ireland after 18 months in Australia and had been socialising at Lodgeview in Cootehill, Co Cavan.

The jury of seven men and five women previously heard evidence that Moran told gardai in an interview that he panicked and stabbed the deceased after a fight, but later told them he had stabbed Mr Connolly in a "rage".

According to Moran's statement at the time of being charged, a row had developed between Moran and Mr Connolly. Moran suggested that Mr Connolly wanted drugs but no drugs were gotten.

Counsel for the DPP, Paddy McCarthy SC said previously there was no previous history between Moran and Mr Connolly and they had not known each other.

Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis gave evidence at the trial, where he outlined to the court the extent of the 17 stab wounds inflicted on Emmett Connolly.

The court previously heard that Emmett Connolly was single, had lived with his family and had graduated from NUI Galway.

When Dr Curtis arrived at the scene at 2.45pm on Sunday September 29, there was no sign of life to be found from Emmett Connolly who he observed sitting on a plastic bag which contained animal shavings and up against a freezer "which bore blood stains."

Sitting in a crouched position, Emmett Connolly was beside a sliding back patio door leading into the back garden.

Mr Curtis told the court that a a black handled knife, seven inches long with a distortion to the tip, was found on the drain of the kitchen sink.

The post mortem conducted by Dr Curtis found that the majority of the wounds to Emmett Connolly were to his left collar bone, his front left shoulder region, his left upper arm and left upper back.

The court previously heard from Mr McCarthy that there was no evidence to support that Moran was attacked in any way "as there was no bruising to his body whatsoever."

Mr McCarthy had previously called Superintendent Fergus Traynor of Monaghan garda station to the stand who said the accused had been born into a family of four children in the Shankill area of Dublin but moved to Cavan over ten years ago.

Supt Traynor previously told the court Moran's girlfriend was deceased prior to this event when she had attended a concert in the North and died from ecstasy on her way home in a car.

The court previously heard that Moran had five previous convictions including a public order offence, two convictions of assault in 2008 and possession of a knife.

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