Thursday 19 April 2018

Man who murdered his grandfather with iron bar jailed for life

Ann Healy

A MAN was yesterday jailed for life for murdering his grandfather with an iron bar in a row over the family farm.

Gearoid Fahy (24) pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to killing his grandfather Finbarr (78) in Co Galway on November 10, 2009.

Det-Insp Gerry Roche yesterday gave evidence that the pensioner had been hit eight times over the head with a nail bar -- a small crowbar -- during the incident at Ballinduff, Ardrahan, Co Galway.

His grandson's fingerprints were found on the nail bar and there was blood on his shoes and on a beer can found at the scene, which linked him to the murder.

The nail bar and shoes were recovered from Gearoid Fahy's house the following day.

The younger man had previously received psychiatric treatment. He told his brother, friends and two psychiatric nurses that he had murdered his grandfather and was sorry for doing it.

"I done it. I killed my grandfather. I done it," he told his brother, Martin Fahy.

Det-Insp Roche said the Fahys were devastated but did not want to give victim impact statements.

He added that a possible motive was that the grandfather was in the process of settling his affairs and a solicitor's letter -- received by all family members -- had been misconstrued by Gearoid Fahy.

"He mistakenly believed that his grandfather was about to sign over his house and land -- that his father was already on -- to a relative, but that was not the case," Det Roche added

He said the accused replied: "I'm just sorry for what I have done. I'm sorry for all the people I have hurt," when charged with his grandfather's murder.

When first interviewed, Fahy, from Carrowmona in Ardrahan, told gardai he had been looking for money from his grandfather and had got €20.

However, in subsequent interviews he said he believed his grandfather was going to put land, which he had initially given to his father, into the name of another relative.

Det-Insp Roche said Fahy had been sniffing butane gas and abusing alcohol since he was a teenager in school in Gort and had developed psychiatric problems as a result of the substance abuse.

He had previously attempted to take his own life and had been receiving treatment since then, he said.

Lawyer Martin Giblin said that while his client had been deemed legally sane and fit to plead, he had requested access to psychiatric services while in prison and was on a waiting list for treatment.

"He does not understand himself what got into him and every day he tries to understand why he did it," Mr Giblin said.

Fahy nodded when Mr Justice Barry White said he had no doubt but that the whole matter had been a tragedy for him and his family.

He backdated the sentence to November 13, 2009, when the accused was first taken into custody.

Irish Independent

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