Wednesday 21 March 2018

Mother loses case related to love rival's murder of student Sebastian Creane

Aodhan O'Faolain

THE mother of a 22-year-old man stabbed to death by his girlfriend's former partner has lost a High Court action.

Nuala Creane took the case over the Minister for Justice's handling of a complaint made about the inquest into the death of her son's killer.

Mrs Creane's son Sebastian was stabbed to death by Shane Clancy at at their home at Cuala Grove, Bray on August 16th 2009.

Mr Clancy took his own life on the same date.

Another of Mrs Creane's sons Dylan and Jennifer Hannigan, who was Sebastian's girlfriend and an ex-girlfriend of Mr Clancy, were seriously wounded by Mr Clancy in the attack.

Mrs Creane has brought High Court proceedings because of her family's unhappiness with the manner in which an inquest into Mr Clancy's death, which returned an open verdict, was conducted by the Coroner for East Wicklow Mr Cathal Louth in April 2010.

She claimed that prior to the inquest she and her husband met with the Coroner, who she says made certain representations about how the inquest would be conducted, including representations about how evidence about Shane Clancy's relationship with antidepressants and his behaviour on the night which the stabbings took place would be treated.

As a result of that meeting with the Coroner Mrs Creane said she and her husband decided to stay away from Mr Clancy's inquest. However she claimed that despite the reassurances Mr Louth misled them and failed to conduct the inquest in a fair manner.

Mrs Creane claimed that Mr Clancy's inquest was not held in an open fair or balanced manner. Earlier this year the Creane family made a complaint about the coroner' conduct to the Minister, and requested that a new inquest be ordered.

In her proceedings, it was claimed the Minister failed to make a decision in relation to their complaint about the coroners conduct in relation to his handling of Mr Clancy's inquest.

They also sought an order from the High Court directing the Minister to consider their complaint properly and make a decision. Today, counsel for Mrs Creane Mattias Kelly SC said a reply sent by the Minister was "no response to the complaint and had "answered questioned not asked."

In a statement of opposition the Minister denied Mrs Creane's claims.

The Minister's lawyers said that arising out of the Creane's complaint the family were informed by the Minister that he had "no role role in individual cases."

Today in his judgment, Mr Justice John Hedigan dimissed MrsCreane's action, as he was satisfied the Minister had made his decision manifestly clear to the Creane' family's request. The Judge, who noted the very tragic circumstances surrounding the case, said the Minister had "clearly, politely but very firmly had said no".

Following the ruling Feichin McDonagh SC for the Minister said the Minister was not seeking his costs of the action.

Separately Mrs Creane had also brought proceedings aagainst the Attorney General, arising out of her refusal to order that a new inquest be held into Mr Clancy's death.

That action was compromised earlier this year after the AG agreed to consider afresh the Creanes request for a new inquest.

Today Mr McDonagh told the court that the Attorney General had again decided not to order that a new inquest into Mr Clancy's death.

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