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Family's pain Dad of tragic Limerick teen still waiting for inquest 13 years after death

Jeffrey, who had no links to crime, was attending a bonfire gathering when he was bludgeoned to death with an axe handle.

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A man has made a formal complaint to the Limerick City Coroner over the fact that a full inquest into his son’s death has not been held 13 years after his murder in Southill.

An inquest into the death of innocent 19-year old Jeffrey Hannan, who was beaten to death on November 22, 2007, was opened in June 2008 but was immediately adjourned because of an ongoing garda investigation.

Jeffrey’s father, Alan Hannan, said he has sent a letter of formal complaint to the coroner’s office in which he stated: “It is very disappointing for our family to have to live with this, and it has had a very big impact on both myself and my wife to this day.”

“It’s only worse it is getting, and it is frustrating that a full inquest has not been carried out.”

Mr Hannan went on to express his disappointment with a lack of progress in the Garda investigation and the lack of information in relation to whether or not his son’s inquest will ever be held.

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“Surely as a citizen of the State I am entitled to a full and proper inquest,” Mr Hannan declared.

An informed source said an inquest cannot be adjourned at infinitude, and that, should the Hannan inquest be re-scheduled and further adjourned, it must be adjourned to a specific date.

Alan Hannan said his family are living “in limbo” due to the lack of progress in both the Garda investigation and the inquest.

The 13th anniversary of the youngster’s murder falls on Sunday, and Mr Hannan said he will “never give up seeking justice for Jeffrey”.

“I wake up every morning in a nightmare. It’s not getting easier, but as long as I’m still breathing I will never give up.”

Gardai are understood to be awaiting the results of DNA analysis, using advanced latest DNA profiling technology, on some items which may prove to be the key to unlocking the 2007 murder enquiry.

It is likely they will seek to have a full inquest adjourned, while the garda investigation remains open.

Jeffrey, who had no links to crime, was attending a bonfire gathering when he was bludgeoned to death with an axe handle. His body was dragged across a green area and dumped just yards from his home.

Gardai have arrested 20 people in connection with the killing but no one has ever been charged.

A number of potential key witnesses have passed away, however in April 2014 after a fresh witness statement was received by gardai, six people were re-arrested and questioned by detectives, but all were later released without charge.

Mr Hannan received a letter from the Director of Public Prosecutions in 2017 which informed him that it was not possible to take the investigation further based upon the evidence available at the time.

A lawyer for the DPP examined the garda murder file in line with the DPP’s Guidelines for Prosecutors; the murder file was also considered by the Deputy Director of Prosecutions, and, Senior Counsel’s advices were also obtained.

The Hannan family sought a review of the decision not to prosecute the main suspect, but the decision was upheld.

Alan Hannan unsuccessfully sought meetings with a number of previous Ministers for Justice

He has also requested a meeting with the Garda Commissioner Drew Harris.

Mr Hannan said it is well known in the Limerick Garda Division as well as wider sections of the community who murdered his son, however gardai have not charged anyone.

In September last year a senior garda ordered a complete “review” of the original garda investigation into the murder.

A garda spokeswoman said the internal peer review “remains ongoing”, and that Gardai “continue to liaise with the family”.

“No new arrests have been made to date,” the spokeswoman said.

The Coroner’s office has been asked for comment.

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