herald

Tuesday 16 January 2018

'Get help to make sure you don't end up like my mum' - Jade

Brigid Maguire suffered abuse at the hands of her husband
Brigid Maguire suffered abuse at the hands of her husband

The daughter of murdered Brigid Maguire is urging all victims of domestic violence to seek help so another tragedy like her mother's can be avoided.

Jade Maguire spoke briefly on the steps of the Criminal Courts of Justice after giving a victim impact statement before the sentencing of her father to life imprisonment for Brigid's murder.

"We're relieved to get justice for my mammy," she said. "Sadly, it won't bring mammy back.

"I would like to advise anyone else who is suffering from domestic abuse not to be afraid to seek help as soon as possible, so you won't end up like my mother.

"We would just like to thank gardai from Mullingar Garda Station for their support and hard work.

"We would also like to thank the jury members for seeking the truth."

She then left the complex with other family members who had attended the hearing.

During her father's four-day trial, Jade and her younger brother Daniel had given evidence of the serious domestic violence and abuse Danny Keena had subjected their mother to before he killed her.

Hammer

They once witnessed their father take out a hammer and a poker and threaten to kill Brigid.

That night, her now 14-year-old son was so upset he slept in his mother's bed.

In another incident, Keena poured milk over Brigid's head for no apparent reason.

She had been sleeping in another room for some time before she left Keena and, at one point, he broke a Sky TV box she had in her room.

"It was really bad because he would never leave my mother alone and he'd always pick on her," Daniel said.

"He would threaten her and say everything was all her fault. He would say 'I'll kill you' and the whole lot."

Daniel grew to hate his father "for what he was doing to her" and, when asked if Keena had got him football boots, he told the court it was his mother who "bought me everything" and "did everything for me".

The court had heard Brigid, who worked as a care assistant at Mullingar General Hospital, had been starting to "stand up for herself" at the time she was killed.

However, even after Keena earlier strangled her to the point that she stopped breathing, when Keena's sister Mary Wallace advised her to "get out of there", Brigid replied: "I'm not leaving my home for no one."

She had been with Keena for 25 years and made previous attempts to leave him before finally moving to the rented house where he would later kill her.

"It was good to get away," her son told the court. "Mammy was happy that she wasn't getting any more abuse."

However, Keena started threatening her again.

Brigid had gone to England for "a break" in the days before she was strangled and Keena maintained that, when he went to confront her, he had been concerned about his son's school attendance.

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