shocking attack | 

Son of man kicked to death at homeless camp in Cork says he will be ‘forever haunted’

James Brady had admitted Mr Hourihane’s manslaughter after the jury was told how the accused and another man had “stamped” on Mr Hourihane’s head

Timmy Hourihane. Photo: Provision

Peter Doyle

The only son of a man who choked to death on his own blood after he was attacked and beaten at homeless camp has said he will be forever “haunted by the horror” of the killing, the Central Criminal Court was told yesterday.

Elliot Hourihane also told the court there were “no winners only losers” after James Brady (28) admitted killing Timothy ‘Timmy’ Hourihane (53), adding his only hope now was that the family could get justice for the father of one.

Brady, of Shannon Lawn, Mayfield, Cork, had pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Hourihane, a former chef who once worked for the Hilton group in the UK, at a tented village for homeless people at Mardyke Walk, Cork city, in the early hours October 13, 2019.

During the five-week trial at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Waterford, Brady had admitted Mr Hourihane’s manslaughter after the jury was told by a witness how the accused and another man – who cannot be named for legal reasons – had “stamped” on Mr Hourihane’s head and body and kicked him in the groin during the prolonged assault.

The jury later unanimously convicted Brady of manslaughter in favour of the murder charge sought by the State.

A post-mortem revealed that Mr Hourihane, who was originally from the Sheep’s Head Peninsula in West Cork, suffered a collapsed lung and severe facial and head trauma as a result of the attack and the cause of death had been inhalation of blood and cardiac arrest.

James Brady. Photo: Cork Courts

In a victim impact statement, which was read out in court by prosecution counsel Siobhan Lankford SC, Elliot Hourihane admitted that his feelings about his father these days altered between “heartbreak and rage”.

He said the manner of the man’s death meant that he would be “forever haunted by the horror of it”.

Elliot Hourihane, who is in his 20s, also told how he had been hoping he could in some way help his father turn his life around and move him out of homelessness – but that chance had been now taken from him.

“No one should have to go through something like this,” he stated.

In a victim impact statement provided by Timothy Hourihane’s brother, Denis, which was also read in to the record by Ms Lankford, Denis Hourihane told how his “life sentence” began the moment he was asked to identify his brother.

He said the sight of his brother’s battered and bruised body inside the morgue will “live with me forever” and that he “cannot imagine” how much his sibling must suffered on the night he was killed “in the most brutal way”.

Earlier, Detective Sergeant James Buckley told Ms Lankford that the tented village where the fatal assault took place was an “area frequented by people addicted to alcohol and drugs”.

Det Sgt Buckley also told the prosecutor two witnesses had told gardai they had seen Mr Hourihane being “set upon” by one male while another was being held back.

“Timothy Hourihane is then severely assaulted, and suffers head trauma,” he said.

The emergency services were called after passers-by came to Mr Hourihane’s assistance and he was taken to Cork University Hospital where he died a short time later from his injuries.

Det Sgt Buckley told Ms Lankford that, according to a post-mortem, the cause of death had been inhalation of blood and cardiac arrest.

Vincent Heneghan SC, defending, told the court that the accused had known the deceased for nine years and had expressed remorse for his actions.

Mr Heneghan said his client had been living “a chaotic lifestyle” at the time of the offence and that he now “prays everyday” for his victim.

Ms Justice Dierdre Murphy adjourned sentencing until April 25.

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