Friday 23 February 2018

'We are going to haunt him' - Family of stabbed Kieran (21) say Minister went back on promise to help

Exclusive: Minister said he would work 'behind the scenes' but now says there is nothing he can do

Kieran Monahan
Kieran Monahan
Cathal McMahon

Cathal McMahon

The family of a young man stabbed to death at a Valentine's day party have warned Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan they will “haunt him” after he said there was nothing he could do to help them.

Kieran Monahan (21) died from knife injuries following the attack at a house in Kilkenny City in 2012.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan. Photo: Tom Burke
Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan. Photo: Tom Burke

A 35-year-old man was arrested at the scene after he was discovered clutching a bloody knife. However a decision was made not to prosecute after the suspect claimed he was defending his home under the Criminal Law (Defence and the Dwelling) Act 2011.

The act came into operation in January 2012, just one month before the stabbing.

It is the only publicised case where this defence has been used in an incident involving a fatal injury.

Mr Monahan's family say there are many unanswered questions about the case and have demanded the garda investigation be reopened.

The family, from Durrow, Co Laois, have highlighted the case on Independent.ie over the last eight months and two TDs, Sean Fleming (FF) and Brian Stanley (SF) have raised it in the Dáil.

Now Kieran's sister Susan Monahan has revealed that they also spoke with then Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan who has since been given the Justice portfolio.

They say the minister, who is also the Monahans' local representative, promised to make submissions on their behalf “behind the scenes” but in a statement, released this week he claimed it was “not open to him to intervene in regard to the DPP's decisions in individual cases”.

Ms Monahan said: “We feel extremely let down. He doesn't know the suffering. It has taken over our lives.”

The heartbroken sibling explained that the Minister rang her mother's personal mobile phone last April.

“He [Minister Flanagan] said he wouldn't go and highlight it in the Dáil but he said he was working behind the scenes. He said he would write to the DPP and speak to Frances Fitzgerald. He was given a file with all the details.

“When he got the Justice job I rang his office to congratulate him and the person who answered the phone said he would ring me back. We have still not heard from him.”

She continued: “We are not going to go away, we are not going to leave him. We are going to haunt him.

“He is our Laois TD but he has never done anything for us.”

In a statement, released to Independent.ie, a spokesman said Minister Flanagan is aware of the reports surrounding this tragic case and “sympathises greatly with the family and friends of Kieran Monahan”.

However the statement went on to say: “The Minister has no role in the investigation, prosecution or trial of alleged offences. This is a long standing principle of our system of justice. It must also be stressed that the DPP is an independent body, which makes decisions as to whether a person should be prosecuted and for what offence.

“Whereas the Minister appreciates the ongoing distress of family and friends in the aftermath of this tragedy, it is not open to him to intervene in regard to the DPP's decisions in individual cases.”

The statement confirmed that the Minister had received correspondence on behalf of the Monahan family and it claimed that a response was issued in June.

The Monahan family say they have not received any correspondence since the original phone call.

In a second statement a spokesman for Minister Flanagan said: "Further correspondence has been received in the Department which is currently being considered and a response will issue shortly."

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