| 17.6°C Dublin

'Jail terms are not enough for taking our kind, loving mam'

Close

Patricia’s son Richard O’Connor speaking outside court

Patricia’s son Richard O’Connor speaking outside court

Patricia’s son Richard O’Connor speaking outside court

Murder victim Patricia O'Connor's grieving son said the jail terms handed down to four members of her extended family for covering up her horrific killing were "not enough."

Richard O'Connor was speaking on behalf of a group of the grandmother-of seven's loved ones after yesterday's sentence hearing.

Patricia's relatives and friends had earlier watched proceedings from an overflow courtroom, next to where the four co-accused were sentenced.

Many wore carnations and chrysanthemums, in memory of Patricia, who had been a keen gardener.

Mr O'Connor made a brief statement on the steps of the Criminal Courts of Justice, surrounded by relatives.

He first said he wished to thank Detective Inspector Brian O'Keeffe and his team, Sergeant Kieran Kilcoyne, the DPP, the jury, the Defence Forces and all involved in the case.

"We would especially like to express our gratitude to those families that found my mam and brought it to the attention of the gardai," he said.

Cruelly

"We wear these flowers today to symbolise my mam's love of gardening and the loss of a loved one.

"My mam was a kind, loving person - a mother, a sister and a grandmother with many years left to live that were so cruelly taken from her.

"The sentences given today, we feel were not enough, but no length of time is long enough for the crimes they have committed.

"May they live with this on their conscience for the rest of their lives.

"As a family, we will try to heal the pain caused by their actions. We would like and ask for privacy at this time."

Some of Patricia's sisters held up photographs of her as the statement was read out.

Earlier in the week, Mr O'Connor and one of Patricia's 10 siblings, Collette Barry, delivered emotional victim impact statements to the Central Criminal Court.

"We were all sickened to find out who was involved in her murder," Ms Barry said in her statement.

"The lies that were told, the cruel cover-up of her murder, it has been shocking and utterly disgusting to sit throughout the seven-week trial to see all of their faces with no emotion of any kind.

"We were deeply hurt by how Patricia's character was so cruelly tarnished by their spiteful lies.

"The people who truly knew her, her sisters, brothers, friends, work colleagues, her neighbours, will defend her kind, caring, loving nature, a jolly woman who sang out loud as she went about her day."

In his victim impact statement, Mr O'Connor had said: "The revelation of how my mam was murdered, the brutality of the act, the cold-hearted way in which she was dismembered, the disgusting way it was covered up and then to find out who was involved, will stay with me for the rest of my life.

"I never got to say goodbye to my mam, never got to see her face one last time.

"That was taken from me and I will never forgive any of them for that."