The mother of one-punch victim Danny McGee has said that his attacker Steven O'Brien has paid a "very small price" for his crime after he was released from prison after serving just 11 weeks.
Dublin man Steven O'Brien (26) was sentenced to six months for an assault which killed Mr McGee (21), from Drumlish, Co Longford, outside a bar in Queens in New York shortly before 4am on November 22, 2018, in Queens County Criminal Court in January.
However, O'Brien was released from a New York prison yesterday after serving 11 weeks as the authorities attempt to limit the numbers of prisoners incarcerated in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
"Naturally it was upsetting news to hear, in light of the fact that it was such a light sentence to begin with," said Mr McGee's mother Colleen McGee.
"He's free as a bird. He has paid a very small price for the devastation he has caused my family.
"He took a life and has shown no remorse for it.
"His solicitor said he is looking forward to starting a 'new chapter'... how I wish I was able to do that."
Speaking to the Herald after O'Brien was sentenced in January, Ms McGee said she was heartbroken that her son's attacker was sentenced to six months in prison and called for a change in the law.
"It's crazy, the maximum sentence he could have received was 12 months because it's an assault charge," she said.
"I'm sure he didn't mean to kill him, but he did.
"Someone has to pay the price. I would like to see the law changed, it's not going to bring Danny back but it may be a deterrent for somebody else."
Ms McGee previously said that the whole family was heartbroken by Danny's untimely death.
"We're heartbroken, he was an older and younger brother," she said.
"We all missed him so much when he was away."
She paid tribute to her son, describing him as a "larger than life" person.
"He was extremely entertaining," she said.
"He was a great kid, he loved nothing more than going out with his friends for a night."
Meanwhile, O'Brien's lawyer Matthew Gartenberg said in a statement to the Herald that his client was looking forward to a "new chapter in his life".
"Steven has been released, and is looking forward to putting this behind him and starting a new chapter in his life," it said.