| 5.3°C Dublin

Seb's parents slam inquests into knife death as 'gruesome and futile'

THE parents of Sebastian Creane "cannot comprehend" claims by the family of his killer Shane Clancy that prescription drugs drove him to murder their son.

After an inquest yesterday that heard "all hell" broke loose on the night Seb (22) was stalked and stabbed to death, his heartbroken parents said "no true healing can ever be founded on denial".

They also criticised the two inquests into the tragic events as "gruesome and futile".

The inquiry at Wicklow District Court was told in graphic detail how Seb's brother Dylan fought off crazed Clancy with a Swiss Army knife.

"Let us not forget what happened here: Seb was stalked by a person who, having manoeuvred his way into our home, left, armed himself and returned sometime later to complete his objective," said James and Nuala Creane in a statement read by their solicitor.


"By playing on Seb's better nature he once again gained access to the house, killed Seb, attempted to kill Jen (Seb's girlfriend Jennifer Hannigan) and then Dylan before withdrawing to kill himself."

The inquest heard how the tragic events unfolded at Cuala Grove, Bray, Co Wicklow on August 16 last year. A statement from Dylan Creane (28) who survived multiple stab wounds said: "It was like going from silence to all hell breaking loose."

He was asleep in an upstairs bedroom at the Creane family home when his younger brother burst in, clutching his chest and saying he had been stabbed.

Dylan rushed downstairs where he, too, was confronted by Clancy (22) and "completely overpowered". "I felt like he was hitting me light punches," recalled Dylan. "I didn't feel any pain." He recognised the knife being used by Clancy as one that had been in the house for years and within moments realised that the Trinity student was intent on killing him.

"He was trying to kill me. It was one of our knives, we had it for years. I remember thinking 'I could die', so I was holding him back," said Mr Creane.

The victim spotted his own keys on the hall table and the attached Swiss Army knife, which he opened with his teeth.

"I still have a chip on my tooth. I held the knife to his face. I told him I'd stab him in the eye if he didn't let go," said Dylan. Clancy retreated briefly, giving Dylan time to stagger upstairs where his brother lay dying on the floor of his parents' bedroom.

Clancy turned his attention to his own ex-girlfriend Jennifer Hannigan. Only a day previously he had gone to her father and told him that Jen was "put on this planet to be with him".

Clancy's own inquest heard how he had a level of anti-depressants in his system that was between toxic and lethal. Yesterday, there was a repeat of some of evidence which revealed how he insisted on giving Seb a lift home from a pub.

After Clancy initially left the Creane house, Jen arrived around 4am and received a text from him saying: "Jen, I did something stupid. I'm going to die now. Get Seb to help me."

Clancy asked where Jen was but when she lied saying she was just leaving town, he replied: "I know you're not."

He then tricked his way back into the Creane house and began the spree of stabbings.

Jen described how at first he punched her and it was when she fell on the couch that he stabbed her in the back.

"I felt a sharp pain in my back but I said to myself 'I'm not going to die'."

She ran out the back door screaming and climbed over a wall into the garden of neighbour John Stafford.

Mr Stafford went into the Creane house and attempted to resuscitate Seb.


"I pulled Seb away from the door. But when I was pulling him away there wasn't a sound out of him. He was cold," Mr Stafford later told gardai.

A verdict of unlawful killing was recorded by the Coroner, but afterwards Nuala and James Creane condemned the inquest process, saying they had learned nothing new.

They also hit out at "assumptions" that drugs drove Clancy to the murder-suicide, in light of comments from his parents.

"We cannot comprehend that an attempt was made to ascribe fault to prescribed medication without any corresponding attempt being made to consider all other factors. Healing for all parties will inevitably be difficult, but no true healing can ever be founded on denial."