Thursday 12 December 2019

'He will never come back, so that’s the hardest part to deal with' - Leo Carolan's mother on life after loss of son

Alex Carolan and Caroline Carolan
Alex Carolan and Caroline Carolan

Sean Nolan

The mother of a Dublin student Leo Carolan, who was murdered last year, has told Claire Byrne that she is still struggling with the loss.

Caroline Carolan, along with Leo's brother Alex, were on RTE's Claire Byrne Live this evening in the aftermath of the sentencing of Charles Cleary to life in prison last Friday for the murder of their son Leo.

Speaking to Claire Byrne, Alex said: "Coming up to it I didn’t feel like it would change much, but we did feel a sense of relief after he was sentenced to know that he was captured and that he will go away for a very long time. We do feel a little bit of relief from it but still not enough, to say the least."

Cleary pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to the murder of Leo Carolan (25) at the flat on the South Circular Road on October 4, 2016 and to the attempted murder of Swiss student Ludovic Thomas (now 26) on the same occasion.

Leo Carolan
Leo Carolan

Leo Carolan was killed after he came to the aid of Thomas, and his mother Caroline wanted that to be remembered.

"Yes, he did die saving his friend," Caroline said. "And he lived like that all his life, and all his friends could tell you and everyone who knew him could tell you that he was always there if someone needed something or needed help or needed food or a place to stay."

She went on to describe her son as a "very nice soul".

"He was one of the most caring people," she said. "Gentle, generous, very generous. Always considerate, non-judgemental, he didn’t like hearing someone criticise someone else, he would always say 'but you don’t know that person, you don’t know what they’re going through, you don’t know,' so he was just a very nice person, a very nice soul."

Caroline Carolan also said that whil she felt justice had been done, it was still hard to deal with the death of her son.

"It’s difficult still every day," she told Claire Byrne. "We feel somehow justice has been done, but at the same time, I don’t know how to define justice any more, you know, he will never come back, so that’s the hardest part to deal with.

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