Tuesday 20 February 2018

TD questions law allowing home owners to defend their property after man (21) stabbed to death

Brian Stanley (left) Kieran Monahan (centre) and Sean Fleming (right)
Brian Stanley (left) Kieran Monahan (centre) and Sean Fleming (right)
Cathal McMahon

Cathal McMahon

A TD has questioned the use of a law introduced to allow home owners defend their property in the case of a man stabbed to death on Valentine's night.

Last month Independent.ie revealed that nobody has been charged in connection with the fatal stabbing of Kieran Monahan at a house party in 2012.

The 21-year-old died from knife injuries following the incident at a house in Kilkenny City. A decision was taken not to prosecute.

It is believed that the Criminal Law (Defence and the Dwelling) Act 2011 was relevant to the decision.

The law was introduced to protect homeowners in the wake of the high-profile Padraig Nally case.

However, the death of Mr Monahan is the only known case in the country where this law was taken into consideration in a decision not to prosecute over a fatality.

Kieran Monahan was killed at a Valentine’s Day party
Kieran Monahan was killed at a Valentine’s Day party

Addressing Junior Minister Catherine Byrne, Laois TD Brian Stanley (SF) told the Dáil this afternoon: “It is a serious case, it is a serious incident. This was one of the first times this law was used and I think when this was brought before the house it wasn't envisaged that it would lead to situations like this.

“This was passed with different intentions. The act is there and this is an extreme interpretation of this.”

Mr Monahan and a number of his friends had been at a party in the home for several hours before the attack took place.

Some reports have suggested that a row broke out at the flat and Kieran left before returning some time later and attempting to get into the home.

However, this has not been confirmed and his family insist that they have been told several different versions of events.

Addressing the Dáil fellow Laois TD Sean Fleming (FF) revealed for the first time details of the DPP's report into the death.

James and Mary Monahan
James and Mary Monahan

He added: “I don't believe there was an adequate investigation carried out by the Garda Siochana at the time of the murder.

“They weren't quick enough in taking statements from the people that were there.

“The DPP has confirmed that Kieran was killed by stabbing on the stairs in the dwelling yet his body was found outside in the open area. Clearly a lot of events happened there that haven't been explained and I think that needs further examination.”

He said the family and the public are “entitled to know what happened Kieran at that time”.

“We all understand the boy is dead. He can't come back but there must be some closure for the family in relation to establishing the facts of what happened on that particular night.”

Mr Stanley said the fatal stabbing was “an extraordinary case by any standards”.

He said he knew Mr Monahan personally and he knows the family.

“Kieran died as a result of a single stab wound according to the post-mortem results. He had been to the dwelling where he was stabbed earlier in the night. He knew the people present in the dwelling including the person who allegedly inflicted the fatal stab wound,” he added.

“Stabbing a person through the heart with a single stab wound. Stabbing a person that is known to you, acquainted to you is by any standards excessive and extreme.

“But that needs to be tested in court.”

He continued: “The Monahan family are entitled to their day in court. Kieran Monahan deserves justice and so do Jim and Mary [Kieran's parents].”

In her response minister Murphy, who was speaking on behalf of Tánaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald, said they were aware of reports around the “tragic case”. However she said that the Tánaiste was unable to intervene.

She said: “The Deputies will appreciate that criminal investigations are properly dealt with by An Garda Síochána in the first instance and the Tánaiste has no role in particular investigations.

“It must be also stressed that the DPP is an independent body, who makes decisions as to whether or not a person should be prosecuted and for what offence. While the Tánaiste appreciates the ongoing distress of the family and friends in the aftermath of this tragedy, it is not open to the Tánaiste to intervene in relation to the DPP's decisions in individual cases.”

Further responding to the deputies minister Byrne said she had taken notes which she promised to bring to the Táinaiste.

She acknowledged that the decision not to prosecute may have been taken under the provision of the Criminal Justice Defence of the Dwelling Act.

Mr Monahan’s family have previously spoken of their anger not to prosecute the man who stabbed Kieran to death.

They have also created a petition demanding that the case be reopened by gardaí and the DPP.

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