Saturday 24 February 2018

'We live 24 hours a day in physical and mental exhaustion' - parents of archaeologist Emmett Connolly who was stabbed 17 times

Archaeologist Emmet Connolly, who was stabbed to death
Archaeologist Emmet Connolly, who was stabbed to death
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

The father of an Irish archaeologist who was stabbed to death has said that himself and his wife are living "in a permanent state of exhaustion". ​

​​​Emmett Connolly (32) was enjoying his first night out on the town after returning home from travelling in Australia when he was stabbed 17 times by a man he'd met that night.

Last week, his killer Kevin Moran, of Lodgeview, Cootehill, Co Cavan, but originally from Shankill in Dublin, who was found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter, was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

"Emmett's mother Mary has been unable to go back to work at all," Frank Connolly said on RTE radio this morning. 

"We live 24 hours a day in physical and mental exhaustion. We are unable to focus in a crowd. You never know when you are walking in the street or in the farmyward when your legs are going to go."

"You feel like your head is in a vice and someone is squeezing it."

Emmett's sister Leah told 'Today with Sean O'Rourke' that they were "shocked and surprised" that widowed father-of-three Moran was not found guilty of murder.

"There was no evidence of an alteration. [Kevin Moran] said in his original statement that there was a fight and Emmett was punching him and he managed to get out from under him," Leah told the radio show.

"But when the gardai came back with the evidence that most of those wounds were to his back, he changed his story. He said he panicked and in a rage he stabbed Emmett. Most of Emmett's wounds seem to have been inflicted when he was trying to defend himself."

"Easy going, positive, confident" Emmett had been socialising at Lodgeview in Cootehill, Co Cavan, when the tragic incident occurred. His family recall the night they will "never forget".

"We got a phone call just before 5am the following morning. It was the gardai and they said there had been an incident with several people involved," said Frank.

"They said that they'd ring back when they had more information. But just then we saw the lights coming up the farm. I will never forget that night."

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