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Tragic son will never get justice, says mum

THE parents of an Irishman who drowned while on holiday in Ibiza have ended their legal battle to get justice for their dead son.

Brazil Burke (21) – a nephew of former defence minister Willie O'Dea – died after jumping from the deck of a party boat off Ibiza in July 2006.

His mother Mary Burke told the Irish Independent that the family would not take their fight to the European courts after Spain's highest court rejected their attempt to overturn the acquittal of the captain of the boat on a manslaughter charge.

"We will never get justice over there – there is no justice for us," Mrs Burke said.

"It is time to let Brazil rest in peace. This was about seeking justice for him – that was all. It was never about compensation."

Brazil – an engineering student – took a sunset cruise off Ibiza on the Captain Nemo. He and a friend, Patrick Bourke, jumped from the boat.

Mr Bourke swam to safety but Brazil's body was washed up the following morning.

The captain of the vessel, Jose Ribas (49), was adjudged at the trial to have been at fault for failing to call the coastguard after hearing there was a man overboard. He was fined €1,800.

However, he was cleared of manslaughter and went on to win appeals that had been lodged by the victim's parents, Mary and John, against his acquittal.

Mary Burke – a special-needs teacher in Limerick – said the family had endured a six-year fight on behalf of her only son.


"There is no point in taking it any further – we will get no justice. He was left to die in the water," she said.

"It was all about justice for my beautiful boy – that was all we ever wanted. We thought we would get justice when we appealed it (the manslaughter acquittal) but there is no justice.

"Emotionally, I am not able for it any more. It was very draining on John and myself and my two daughters (Carol and Lillian). John and I have decided to let my son rest in peace."

Irish Independent