NewsCourts

Lorcan O'Reilly's teen killer sentenced to four-and-a-half years

Lorcan O’Reilly
Lorcan O’Reilly

A TEENAGER has been sentenced to four and a half years for fatally stabbing a young man at a Halloween bonfire after telling him: “You don’t know who my dad is.”

The 16-year-old boy was given six years detention, with 18 months suspended for the manslaughter of Lorcan O’Reilly, who he stabbed in the heart during a confrontation in a Dublin inner city flats complex.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy told the Central Criminal Court today at least one member of the accused's immediate family was associated with criminal activity and a report stated that the youth  was “lacking a moral compass.”

The court heard the accused was of extremely low intelligence and had “mild intellectual disability” but nevertheless had “high social standing and notoriety among his peers due to the element of criminality in his background.”

The judge said the offence was rendered “far more serious when one brings a deadly weapon into the equation.”

He said the victim’s family had been deeply affected by his death, which was summed up when they said “when he was stabbed in the heart that night, it was all of our hearts that were broken.”

Judge McCarthy said it could be seen how death was “much more devastating” when it was by an act of serious violence.

The teenager, who cannot be named because of his age showed no emotion as the sentence was handed down at today’s hearing, which was closed off to members of the public except close relatives of the accused and deceased.

He was hugged by members of his family.

The accused pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Mr O’Reilly at Oliver Bond flats in the early hours of November 1, 2015.

He had denied an original charge of murder but his plea to the lesser count was accepted by the prosecution.

The court heard the accused was 14 years of age at the time killing.

Mr O’Reilly and the defendant had both attended an organised Halloween bonfire next to the flats on the evening of October 31, 2015 A large crowd of youths later congregated inside an open area of the flats during the early hours of November 1 as the Halloween party continued.

The accused and deceased had been involved in a “slagging match” at around 2.40 am and that at 2.42am the accused was caught on CCTV in possession of a hurley.

One unnamed witness told gardai that “there was a lot of slagging off going on. He (the accused) was saying who he was and who his dad was.”

Another witness, who was also not identified in court, told investigating officers that Mr O’Reilly had been trying to stop a fight between the accused and another boy but the accused “wanted the fight to go on”.

The accused had been swinging the hurley towards the deceased while shouting: “You don’t who my dad is…You don’t know who I am.”

Taking the hurley from the boy, Mr O’Reilly was heard saying: “I don’t care. I’m not letting a 14-year-old talk to me like that.”

At that point, the accused left the scene but returned minutes later and struck Mr O’Reilly in the chest with a knife.

He then ran off but Mr O’Reilly chased after him and the pair clashed again, with Mr O’Reilly receiving a second stab wound to below his right eye.

Moments after the second altercation, Mr O’Reilly approached a friend and said: "I’m after being stabbed…”

He was then taken by car to the accident and emergency department of the nearby St James’s Hospital where he later went into a cardiac arrest.

Despite the efforts of the hospital medical staff, which included a cardiac massage, Mr O’Reilly never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead at 4.05am.

A post-mortem later revealed the fatal blow had been a knife wound to Mr O’Reilly’s chest that had punctured his heart.

In a victim impact statement, the victim’s father Paddy Rooney said his wife and children were “robbed that night of a happy, kind and thoughtful” son and brother.

Mr Rooney said Mr O’Reilly’s mother and brothers and sisters were still struggling to come to terms with the death and that he personally was finding it “unbelievably difficult to relive the events of the that awful night”.

“Nothing has been the same since. Time is not a healer,” he said. “All of our hearts are broken.”