Anthony O'Mahony's family in tears as sentence given

The family of Anthony O'Mahony said their pain has been 'exacerbated' by what they described as the 'lenient sentence' handed down on Monday and which could see his killer, Michael Ferris, free within two years.

Relatives of Anthony O'Mahony (73) broke down in tears as his killer, Michael Ferris (63), was jailed for five years for manslaughter.

Mr Ferris was found not guilty of murder but guilty of the manslaughter of Mr O'Mahony at Rattoo on April 4 of 2017 by a jury at the Central Criminal Court in Tralee in October.

Mr O'Mahony died when Michael Ferris repeatedly drove a teleporter into him, having 'snapped' over a crow banger O'Mahony had been operating for three decades at Rattoo.

Michael Ferris received a six-year jail sentence for the manslaughter from Ms Justice Carmel Stewart at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin on Monday, with the last 12 months suspended for three years.

The judge also backdated the sentence to when Ferris first was taken into custody in April of 2017.

With remission and the year-and-eight-months already served, it is likely he will be a free man by Christmas of 2020.

The family said what they see as the leniency of the sentence is making their pain more acute, exacerbated as it had already been by a trial in which they believe his name and good character had been 'blackened'.

Speaking to media outside the Central Criminal Court on Monday, Mr O'Mahony's niece Ann O'Carroll said:

"The defence legal team's use of alleged provocation in this case allowed the jury to return a conviction for the lesser charge of manslaughter." She believes the conviction should have been one of murder, she added.

Solicitor for Michael Ferris Frank Buttimer said the intention was never to 'blacken' the late Mr O'Mahony and that the only strategy available to the defence was that of provocation.

The defence would not have acted well for its client had it not raised those issues which went to the heart of the matter.

"It wasn't to blacken Mr O'Mahony in any circumstances," Mr Buttimer said.