Wednesday 17 January 2018

Victim's mum seeks new inquest over killer

Tim Healy

THE mother of a stabbing victim has challenged the State's refusal to direct that a new inquest be held into the death of her son's killer.

The High Court action has been brought by Nuala Creane, whose son Sebastian (22) was stabbed to death by Shane Clancy at the family home at Cuala Grove, Bray, Co Wicklow on August 16, 2009.

Mr Clancy took his own life on the same date and his body was found outside the house.

Sebastian's brother Dylan and girlfriend Jennifer Hannigan, an ex-girlfriend of Clancy, were also seriously wounded.

Mrs Creane is unhappy over the manner in which the inquest was conducted into the death of Clancy. It returned an open verdict.

The Creane family asked the Attorney General that a new inquest be held, but that was turned down earlier this year.

Stabbed

Yesterday, lawyers acting for Mrs Creane told the High Court that the inquest into Clancy's death -- held in April 2010 by the coroner for east Wicklow, Cathal Louth -- was not held in an open, fair or balanced manner.

Mrs Creane said that prior to the inquest she and her husband James met with Mr Louth, who she says made certain representations about how the inquest would be conducted.

She said these included representations about evidence about Clancy's relationship with anti-depressants and his behaviour on the night on which she said her son was "murdered".

As a result, Mrs Creane said she and her husband elected to stay away from the inquest.

Mrs Creane said Mr Louth had misled them and failed to conduct the inquest in a fair manner.

In March 2012, the couple wrote to the Attorney General, requesting that she order a new inquest into Mr Clancy's death. They also wrote to the Minister for Justice, asking him to inquire into the alleged conduct of Mr Louth in this case.

In reply last April, the office of the Attorney General refused a new inquest. It is claimed that no reasons were given. The minister, the court heard, had not make any decision in relation to the complaint furnished to him.

In her proceedings against the Attorney General and the Minister for Justice, Mrs Creane is seeking various orders, including one that the Attorney General direct that a new inquest into the death of Mr Clancy be held.

Mrs Creane is also seeking an order directing the minister to consider their complaint properly and make a proper decision in relation to their complaint.

Mr Justice Michael Peart yesterday granted permission to bring the challenge on an ex parte (one side only) basis.

The action was made returnable to a date in late July.

Irish Independent

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