Wife could get €1m pension after killing husband with knife
A WOMAN found guilty of murdering her husband could be entitled to around €1m of his pension, according to the victim's brother.
Tanya Doyle savagely stabbed Paul Byrne more than 60 times at their home in Tallaght in 2009.
She was found guilty of the brutal murder in 2013, and given a mandatory life sentence.
Speaking to the Herald last night, Paul's brother Noel Byrne hit out at the Irish legal system which he claims is "rewarding people for murder".
"Under his employer's pension scheme, Paul's pension is payable to his spouse, and under the Pension Act there is no discretion regarding who the payment is made to and under what circumstances.
"RPS (Paul's employer) have done their very best to not pay this figure, but under current legislation they have no choice," Noel said.
"Successive governments have had the opportunity to amend the legislation so that people do not gain financially from murdering their spouse, but they've failed the victims and their families time and time again," he added.
Noel Byrne said that the payment could be in the region of €1m.
His brother's former employers stated that the pension could be a "significant sum", if paid over a lengthy period of time.
However, engineering consultant group RPS added that if the sum is paid by the pension provider, the figure "is likely to fall well short" of €1m.
The scheme trustees of Paul's pension have since requested that a number of parties - including the Justice Minister, the Pensions Ombudsman and the Pension Board - have the law amended to ensure that a person convicted of murder cannot benefit from a spouse's pension plan in such circumstances.
Noel also expressed disappointment that his brother's murderer could be eligible for release in as little as two years.
Tanya Doyle was sentenced in March 2013, and it was backdated to September 2009 when she was first imprisoned.
Under Irish legislation she is eligible for parole seven years after first being incarcerated.
"Although it is unlikely that she will be freed that early, there is a chance she could be released from prison in as little as two years," he said.
Noel compared his brother's case to that of Eamonn Lillis, who was found guilty of manslaughter in 2010 for the death of his wife Celine McCauley. Lillis is expected to net around €1.3m when he is released from prison, which includes money from the sale of their Howth home and from the liquidation of his wife's television production company.