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Settlement for slain Meg's daughter

JOHN O'Brien (45), the bus driver acquitted of killing his wife Meg Walsh, has settled a civil action taken by her daughter, Sasha Keating (21), for a share in her late mother's estate.

The settlement came within 24 hours of it emerging in Waterford Circuit Civil Court that Mr O'Brien inherited Ms Walsh's half of their family home after her death at the age of 35 while a life insurance policy in her name cleared the outstanding mortgage.

Ms Keating had launched the high-profile civil action to secure a portion of her mother's estate.

Ms Keating has refused to comment on the matter.

Mr O'Brien could not be contacted for comment.

However, legal sources indicated to the Herald that a settlement was reached following intensive negotiations last Thursday and Friday.

The settlement is now set to be ratified before Judge Olive Buttimer at the Circuit Civil Court sitting in Carlow tomorrow.

As Ms Walsh -- whose body was recovered from the River Suir on October 15, 2006 -- died without making a will, her daughter received no share of her main assets.





one-third

Ms Keating -- who is Meg's daughter by a previous relationship -- had claimed a one-third share of the home at the address in Dunvarra, Ballinakill Downs, Waterford that her mother shared with Mr O'Brien.

The action was outlined before the Circuit Civil Court in Dungarvan last Thursday and was defended by Mr O'Brien.

Meg disappeared on October 1, 2006 -- just seven days after she initiated legal moves to secure her husband's share of the family home after he had subjected her to a violent assault.

The court was told an agreement was allegedly reached between Ms Walsh and her husband that he would sign over his half of the family home -- purchased in 2002 for €223,000 -- to her in return for her not seeking a barring order and not making a formal complaint to gardai.

This was vehemently contested by Mr O'Brien who denied that any such binding agreement existed.

Mr O'Brien has admitted assaulting Ms Walsh on September 20, 2006.

He had also allegedly assaulted her on previous occasions.

Ms Walsh vanished on October 1.

Mr O'Brien was later charged with his wife's murder but was found not guilty in 2008.

hnews@herald.ie