'rarest jewel' | 

Man to be sentenced following death of fun-loving and outgoing Irishman

The 46-year-old loved music and singing and was known for wearing a goat-skin fur coat
Darren Munnelly

Darren Munnelly

Neil Fetherstonhaugh

A man is to be sentenced early next month following the death of an Irishman described as the Lincolnshire Irish community's "rarest jewel".

Declan Grant (22) of St Mary's Street in Lincoln, has pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Darren Munnelly in the early hours of Sunday, July 26 of this year.

Mr Munnelly (46) had been found with a serious head injury at a property in Carr Street, Lincoln, and taken to hospital for treatment where he later passed away.

Grant had been charged with murder, however, at a hearing at Lincoln Crown Court on Thursday, December 23, he admitted responsibility for his role in Mr Munnelly's death with a plea of manslaughter.

Peter Joyce QC, prosecuting, said they were content to accept the plea to manslaughter.

Judge Simon Hirst remanded Grant back into custody until he is sentenced.

But Judge Hirst told him: “You have pleaded guilty to a very serious offence. You will be sentenced on January 10. You know as well as I do that it will be a sentence of custody.”

Grant will be sentenced on January 10, 2022 at the same court.

Mr Munnelly, whose grandparents Patrick and Kate Munnelly emigrated from Doohoma, Co Mayo to Lincolnshire in the 1940s, was described as the Lincolnshire Irish community's "rarest jewel".

"Everyone's life was richer for knowing Darren," his family told The Irish Post in August.

In a statement following his death, Mr Munnelly's family described him as a "friendly and popular" person.

During the pandemic he cooked meals for people and delivered them on his bike and was known for his love of snooker and singing in local venues, his relatives said.

"He was such an outgoing, well-liked person who could liven up any party and was a lot of fun," they added.

Mr Munnelly cooked food and delivered it to people in need across Lincoln during the coronavirus pandemic.

He was described by his family as being “so generous and so thoughtful to other people” and he raised £1,500 for Macmillan Cancer Support by completing Go Sober for October in 2017.

The 46-year-old loved music and singing and was known for wearing a goat-skin fur coat. He was also an avid sports fan and supported Manchester United, and also loved to play snooker with his son Sean.

Today's Headlines

More Courts

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices