Tuesday 20 February 2018

Son jailed for punch that killed his father

Mother forgives 21-year-old as he gets three years

Michael Molloy Jnr outside Limerick Circuit Court yesterday
Michael Molloy Jnr outside Limerick Circuit Court yesterday

Barry Duggan

A MOTHER yesterday said she forgave her son as he was sentenced to three years imprisonment for landing the punch that killed his father.

Michael Molloy Snr died on January 24, 2009 after his son, Michael Jnr, punched him in the jaw the night beforehand near their home at Garryglass Avenue, Ballinacurra-Weston, Limerick.

Molloy Jnr (21) -- a repeat offender -- had initially been charged with the manslaughter of his father, but the Director of Public Prosecutions agreed to accede to a lesser charge of assault causing harm which the defendant pleaded guilty to in Limerick Circuit Criminal Court.

The defendant had amassed 74 previous convictions before yesterday's appearance before Judge Carroll Moran and is currently serving a sentence for the unlawful theft of a car.

The court heard that the dead man's partner, Geraldine McNamara was driving her son, Michael Molloy Jnr, and another man back to Ballinacurra-Weston after they had signed on at Roxboro garda station for another matter.

Mr Molloy Snr (39) was sitting in the passenger seat of the car and was intoxicated at the time.

Judge Moran recalled that the deceased had been misbehaving and was causing a nuisance in the front seat of the car by pulling up the handbrake and opening the door on the journey.

When the vehicle arrived at Garryglass Avenue, he refused to get out of the car and threatened his son. The defendant struck him once across the jaw and the father hit his head on the footpath.

Emergency services were alerted, but Mr Molloy Snr refused to go in the ambulance to the hospital. The defendant also repeatedly requested that his father travel to the hospital, but refused to do so.

The father also refused to make a complaint to gardai and went home to fall asleep on a couch.


The following morning, the dead man's mother, Patricia, went to work at 7.30am and heard her son breathing on the couch and put a blanket over him.

She received a call at 1.30pm that day from Ms McNamara saying she was worried about the injured man.

Paramedics arrived to the home and Mr Molloy Snr was pronounced dead at 3.20pm.

State pathologist Marie Cassidy said Mr Molloy Snr died from a head injury and she concluded that the cause of death was likely caused by the direct blow.

Ms McNamara admitted her partner was fond of alcohol. She acknowledged that her son indicated his remorse and would have to live with it for the rest of his life.

When asked did she forgive her son, she replied: "Of course, I forgive him."

The dead man's mother said her grandson got upset whenever they spoke about it.

She said he loved his father and she did not hold a grudge over the incident.

Judge Moran said the father might have lived had he initially gone to hospital. He also noted that the defendant's family said it was a tragic mistake and they wished "to see him home again as soon as possible".

However, the judge also pointed out that the assailant had a bad criminal record and sentenced him to three years imprisonment which was backdated to September 29 last.

Irish Independent

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