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Family of one-punch victim Jason Kearney say 'we are not living, we are surviving'

Jason Kearney's family say they have questions about the night that will never be answered

Ian Moore pleaded guilty to the unlawful killing of Jason Kearney

Fiona Ferguson

The family of a man killed as a result of head injuries from a fall following a one-punch assault say they have questions about the night that will never be answered.

Ian Moore (30) told gardaí Jason Kearney, a stranger, had come to his house in the early hours of the morning and forced his way inside.

He said he pushed him out but his partner mistakenly believed her bag had been stolen and Moore left the house with the intention of retrieving it.

Moore told gardaí there had been a series of verbal interactions before he punched Mr Kearney once. He fell backwards and hit his head.

Moore, of Portland Close, Dublin 1, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to the unlawful killing of Jason Kearney on September 12, 2020. He had no previous convictions.

Mr Kearney died after 10 days in a coma when his family made the decision, following medical advice, to turn off his ventilator.

His family say they are now left serving a life sentence.

Mr Kearney's family told the court they do not believe he was a threat to anyone and asked why Moore did not contact gardaí instead of "taking the law into his own hands".

Attracta Kearney, Jason's mother, described her son as a "caring, gentle, kind-hearted soul".

"I believe had Ian Moore felt threatened in any way whatsoever then he should have called the Garda, not taken it upon himself to follow my son and assault him in such a manner that it resulted in my son Jason's untimely death," she wrote in her statement.

"What kind of person does something like that? I do not believe that Jason was a threat to anyone that night. There are so many questions that we will never get the answers to.

"The never-ending pain that Ian Moore has caused my family is immeasurable and I will never, ever, forgive him for it."

Jason Kearney

Mr Kearney's sister, Lorraine Kearney, asked Moore: "Why did you take the law into your own hands? Why did you engage with Jason at the door? Why didn't you ring the guards? Why did you follow him? If you had done the right thing neither party would be here today."

"Whatever happens here today, you will get a chance to rebuild your life. We won't.

"My brother lost his life because of your actions and for that I will never forgive you.

"The day you assaulted Jason, you handed us a life sentence. We are not living, we are surviving."

Judge Melanie Greally adjourned sentencing until March 30 for finalisation.

Detective Sergeant Shane Noonan agreed with Ronan Munro SC, defending, that gardaí did not have CCTV footage of the actual assault, but their independent investigations were consistent with what they were told.

He agreed Moore and his partner were distressed when speaking to gardaí.

Mr Munro read a portion of a letter of apology written by Moore in which he outlined he was "so sorry for the pain and suffering" he had caused to the Kearney family. He said he thoroughly regretted his actions, which had caused them so much devastation.

Counsel said Moore was conscious of the pain of the family and acknowledges responsibility for what he has done.

He said Moore, an electrician and father-of-two, had been deeply affected by the events. He is attending counselling, is remorseful and feels empathy for the Kearney family.

He submitted the court had to take into account the unusual context in which the encounter began and the tragic mistaken belief that appears to have led to this tragedy.

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