herald

Sunday 4 December 2016

Distraught mother appeals for information on son’s murder

Monica Butler, mother of murder victim John Butler Jr. Photo: Michael Mc Sweeney/Provision.
Monica Butler, mother of murder victim John Butler Jr. Photo: Michael Mc Sweeney/Provision.

A HEARTBROKEN mother has issued a renewed plea for information about the brutal killing of her only son following a row at a fast food outlet.

Monica Butler vowed that she will never cease campaigning for justice for her son, John (20), who died in his girlfriend’s arms after being shot on a Cork street in an unprovoked attack in 2002.

“I will never stop campaigning for justice for my John. They (the killers) will never be allowed forget the terrible thing they did that night. They took John’s life and they destroyed my family that night,” she said.

Monica’s appeal came as she prepares to mark the 13th anniversary of her son’s murder.

Despite a courageous decade-long campaign for justice, no one has been convicted of the killing that shocked the country.

John Butler was brutally gunned down on October 7, 2002, just minutes after a

minor disagreement in a fast food outlet.

John – a keen soccer player with Blarney United – was walking home with his fiancee, Rachel, after a night out. He was involved in a minor row in a fast food outlet but thought nothing of it and walked on.

However, a short time after he left the restaurant a man ran out from a side road and shot him at point-blank range.

John’s courageous final act was to push his fiancee and the mother of his son Jamie away from the gunman to safety.

Despite a major garda investigation, no one was ever been brought to justice for the savage killing.

Monica has fought tirelessly to get justice for her son and has written repeatedly to successive Ministers for Justice and Directors of Public Prosecutions.

She is again appealing for information in the hope that someone’s conscience may be bothering them. Her determination is further galvanised by the fact her husband, John Snr, devastated at the death of his only son, took his own life in 2006.

“He was 59 and the nicest man you’d ever meet. We tried to carry on as best we could. But John could take no more – his heart was absolutely

broken,” she said.

Blood

In a further tragedy, one of John’s best friends, similarly distraught over what happened, also took his own life.

“Our lives were over in 2002 when John was murdered. They (the killers) are not people. But if they live to be one hundred years they will never be able to wash young blood off their hands,” she said.

“They will be on their deathbeds some day and they will be looking at young blood on their hands – they cannot wash it off.

“They have stains on their souls that they cannot hide”.

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