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 Lost Lives

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PostSubject: Lost Lives   Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:06 pm

Two Court reports from today:

Quote :
Derek McGrath (aged 36), Fortlawn Park, Blanchardstown, Dublin, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of his 23-year old brother, Anthony at Whitestown Walk, Blanchardstown, in October 2006. Today, Det Sgt Liam Kelly told the court that, in the hours leading up to the killing, both brothers had been at a family christening and that guests said they were “getting on very well”. “They had a normal brother relationship.”

Anthony went home ahead of Derek after inviting him and a friend Joe Larkin to his house to have some food. Derek had been drinking for two days. He had been at a fortieth birthday party on Friday night and, during the christening that Saturday, had consumed 12 pints, as well as taking cocaine and valium. After arriving at Anthony’s house, Derek fell asleep on the couch in the sitting-room.

Anthony and Joe Larkin were in the kitchen preparing food when a disagreement developed between them about Anthony’s ex-girlfriend. She had moved out of Anthony’s house 10 months previously because of his “temper” and had gone to stay at Joe Larkin’s – a fact that was concealed from Anthony.Derek went into the kitchen and attempted to break up the disagreement but an argument broke out between him and Anthony. Larkin, who had left, returned when he heard the disturbance. He saw the brothers scuffling and separated them. Anthony left the house. It appeared to Larkin and Derek that the disturbance had ended but, as they were leaving, Anthony had retrieved a hatchet from his van outside. He “swung the hatchet at them” and, in trying to get at his brother, he “struck Larkin on the forehead”. Larkin pushed Anthony out the door. Derek then went into the kitchen and got two knives. Meanwhile, Anthony and Larkin were in the garden. Larkin had fallen on top of Anthony. Anthony got up and when Larkin got up he saw Derek, with a knife in each hand, scuffling with his brother.

Larkin tried to separate them but the “damage had been done”. Anthony was holding his right shoulder and saying “call the ambulance”.

When gardaí arrived they found Derek crouched over his brother, holding his head. He was agitated, crying and ran into the kitchen and sat on the floor. He put his head between his knees and was muttering and shouting. He kept saying “sorry” and “God let him live”, asking if his brother was going to be okay and that he didn’t mean for it to happen.

Anthony died of a single stab wound to the neck.

Derek told gardaí in interviews that he “couldn’t remember getting the knives” and that he “sobered up when he was putting a T-shirt on Anthony’s wound”. He said that he “understood straightaway what he had done”. Derek McGrath has a long-term partner, two sons and one daughter. The court also heard that their father had chronic alcohol problems and Derek had acted in the place of their father, looking after his two younger brothers.


His mother Rita wrote: “Derek loved Anthony from the moment he was born. He was very protective of him. Derek tried to fill the role of father with his two younger brothers. I am in so much pain to lose a child.

“Any punishment Derek receives will not be as bad as what he is going through at the moment. He is a fine father to his three children.”

His youngest brother Thomas wrote: “For the seventeen years I’ve known Derek he took the role of father to me and Tony. I believe what Derek did was an accident and that he would never have meant it.”

Derek’s partner Rhonda said that she said that she has been in a relationship with him most of her life, since she was 12 years old and he was 13. “He spent most of his teenage life fighting addiction...All the children were very close to Tony and are still trying to deal with what happened on that tragic night...I know in my heart of hearts that Derek never meant to hurt Tony.”

Mr Justice Paul Carney remanded Derek McGrath in custody until tomorrow morning, when he will be sentenced.

He was convicted of manslaughter.

http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/mhidkfgbkfoj/

Quote :
a troubled 16-year-old boy repeatedly threatened during his Children’s Court case today that he would kill himself if he was remanded in custody.

During the on-going case, the horrific details of the teenager’s life have been laid bare in the court which has heard he lost his father to drugs at the age of five, later had his head stamped on by his mother’s partner and went on to repeatedly threaten suicide.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to charges for being intoxicated to such an extent he was a danger to himself and others and for engaging in threatening behaviour, at Fitzgibbon Street, in Dublin which happened in August last. Efforts were being made by the HSE to have the boy placed in a care unit.

Funding for treatment, involving a brain scan, was also being sought by the HSE to establish if he has on-going medical problems from the injuries sustained in the assault by her mother’s ex-partner, three years ago. But a bench warrant was issued for his arrest on October 1 last when he fled from the Dublin Children’s Courthouse, during a recess in his case.

The boy was remanded in custody.

http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/mhidkfgbauey/

I hate to start such a depressing thread, but it seems to me that the utter tragedy of the lives of a portion of our population is foreseeable and avoidable. Patterns of unemployment, bad housing and addiction are breakable.

The numbers of people likely to be vulnerable to poverty and addiction are certain to go up, not down, with the coming recession. How can we keep another generation from getting trapped in this way? I've heard of two residential units for young men with addiction up for closure in the last week (Axe thread). Is it possible to say no to the social division that ends up with part of the population being written off?
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