No jail for man who stabbed the cousin of his brother’s accused killer

Kevin Kenny was killed in 2011
Kevin Kenny was killed in 2011

A Dublin man who stabbed the cousin of his brother’s accused killer in an “act of violent revenge” has been given a three year suspended jail sentence.

Stephen Kenny (27) was the principal witness in a murder trial last year, telling the court he saw his brother Kevin stabbed to death following a row outside an Inchicore pub. The accused, Craig O’Halloran, was later acquitted.

On the same day Craig O’Halloran was charged with murder, the court heard Kenny attacked and stabbed his cousin, Graham O’Halloran. Mr O’Halloran suffered stab wounds to the head and hand during the attack.

Kenny, of O'Hogan Road, Ballyfermot, Dublin, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm at Decies Road, Ballyfermot on January 13, 2013. He has six previous convictions including one for violent disorder.

Sentencing Kenny in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today, Judge Sarah Berkeley said the attack had been carried out “against a background of extreme grief and anger”.

“That is no excuse for the violent act perpetrated by the accused, an act of violent revenge that is unacceptable in the community,” Judge Berkeley said.

But the judge accepted Kenny had undergone counselling to address his anger issues, and that he had a supportive family and stable employment.

Kenny’s father, who had a “positive and stabilising effect” on his son, made a heartfelt plea to save him from incarceration and outlined the “fear and intimidation his family has suffered in the community in the last ten years”, Judge Berkeley said.

The court heard Kenny had lost two brothers to murder. In 2005 his brother Martin was shot dead as he lay in bed with his girlfriend.

A short time before this killing, men called to the Kenny family home looking for Martin. Stephen Kenny, who was aged 15 at the time, answered the door and was slashed in the face.

Shortly after Craig O'Halloran was charged with the murder of his other brother, Kevin Kenny, Kenny attacked Graham O'Halloran with a knife on the street.

Kenny's barrister previously told the court he was under huge pressure at the time in the “close-knit community” of Ballyfermot as it was known he would serve as the main witness in any murder trial.

He said there was “some taunting” between Kenny and Graham O'Halloran which caused Kenny to “lose it” and stab the victim. Graham O'Halloran was left with stab wounds to his hand and scalp. Doctors later had to reattach a tendon in his hand but there was no long term damage.

The court heard Graham O’Halloran did not give a victim impact statement and was a reluctant witness. The court heard there was no longer any tension between the two men.