herald

Wednesday 11 December 2019

Teen admits killing Italian man knifed during row at home

Knife victim Bruno Rolandi
Knife victim Bruno Rolandi

A teenager has admitted killing an Italian man during a domestic incident at a home two years ago.

Alexander Whelan (19) yesterday pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Bruno Rolandi (56) in Edenderry, Co Offally, on November 19, 2017.

He had originally been charged with murder but a plea of manslaughter was accepted by the DPP at the Central Criminal Court.

Defence counsel Michael Bowman SC told the court that his client was 18 years old at the time of the incident and it had arisen "out of a domestic incident" in the home.

Mr Justice Michael White directed a probation report and remanded Whelan on continuing bail until February 3, 2020, when his sentence hearing will take place.

The victim was found with a number of serious knife wounds at the house he lived in with the accused and his mother in the Ballyfore area of Edenderry.

Sources said Whelan fatally wounded the victim after a row during a domestic dispute at the property where they both lived along with the accused's family.

Whelan was arrested a short time later and detained at Tullamore Garda Station.

Mr Rolandi was originally from the Monza region of Italy but had been living in Edenderry for some time.

In the days after the killing, neighbours on the rural roadway where the tragedy happened described their shock.

"You wouldn't expect this anywhere, but especially not in Ballyfore," one local woman said.

"I wouldn't know the people who live in that home well, but I saw the ambulance drive down to the house last night.

"I just thought somebody was ill, I didn't imagine that it could be a killing."

Friendly

Another man, who lived in a neighbouring property, said that the family had been living at the home for around 12 years, but that he only knew Mr Rolandi to see.

"It's very sad, it's a terrible shock. I know him to see but I wouldn't know him that well, he seemed friendly," he added.

Emergency services were alerted to the incident at around 7.48pm on November 19, 2017, and found the victim with knife wounds.

A garda spokesman said: "Despite the efforts of the medical personnel, the man in his 50s was pronounced dead at the scene."

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