Monday 24 October 2016

Death of our brother's killer is a cause for sorrow, says family

Karl Holmes (45) from Homelawn Drive who was killed on 02/09/15

"We don't wish this pain on anyone else."

That was the reaction of Sean O'Sallaigh when he found out his brother's killer had died following an attack.

Karl Holmes - who assaulted Thomas Weekes (19) causing grievous bodily harm two decades ago - died after he was attacked in Tallaght last week.

O'Sallaigh, the brother of Weekes, has said that he doesn't wish the pain of losing a loved one on any other family, and expressed his sympathies.

"The pain we suffered when my brother Thomas was killed is not something we would wish upon anyone, we're not that type of family.

"We feel sorry for his daughter; my sister and niece know his daughter and some members of the family have made peace with us.

"It's just something you wouldn't wish upon anyone else and what happened the other day was a tragedy," Sean said.

Gardai initially treated the death of the 44-year-old Holmes as a murder investigation. However, a post-mortem has since ruled that he died as a result of an underlying heart condition.

Detectives downgraded the incident and are investigating the matter as violent disorder, assault and public order offences.

Holmes previously served 18 months of a five-year sentence for the death of Thomas Weekes, who he assaulted in the Homelawn estate of Tallaght after the two had been drinking in a derelict house.

Holmes died last Thursday, just yards away from where he attacked Weekes in October 1992.

O'Sallaigh also revealed that in the day's following Holmes' death, people had congratulated his family on the death of their brother's killer.

However, Sean said that his family "aren't like that" and that they have since moved on.

"We got closure a number of years ago. But how many years can you put someone behind bars that makes you feel better? We didn't want anyone to create any feuds or revenge attacks.


"I look back and wonder what would he (Thomas) be doing now. I feel the hurt and the pain, but I don't feel aggression and I don't feel violence.

"I feel sorry for any children that were on the street when Karl Holmes was being beaten to death, and if his family are feeling what we felt then I feel sorry for them too."

Mr O'Sallaigh, who has taken his mother's maiden name, also criticised the Director of Public Prosecution over the handling of his brother's death.

He told RTE Radio that "we were completely let down by the DPP".

Holmes was initially given a five-year sentence for the attack, but had the balance of the term suspended on review and served just 18 months.

Presiding Judge Michael Moriarty described the attack by Holmes on Thomas Weekes as "deplorable and outrageous".

The prosecution had accepted a guilty plea to the lesser charge of grievous bodily harm, and had not proceeded with a manslaughter charge.


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