THE mother of an 11-year old boy who was murdered in 2019, said she feels “let down by the justice system” after a legal application to lift restrictions on identifying her son and his killer were adjourned today.
RTE first applied for the order to be lifted in the case on Thursday, however Mr Justice Paul McDermott asked for the DPP and the convicted killer to be put on notice and put the matter in for hearing today.
The application, however was adjourned today by Mr Justice Paul Coffey after it was heard the killer’s barrister had not had an opportunity to take instructions from her client, and it was heard that the State’s senior counsel was not available.
The convicted man’s counsel said she could not identify any legal objection on which she could argue against lifting the restrictions.
The Central Criminal Court imposed a court order banning naming parties in the case following an Appeal Court ruling in October 2020 which found that a restriction on identifying children, who were victims of crimes where criminal proceedings had begun, applied to living and to dead children.
This ruling was changed from today, allowing the naming deceased children, however individual applications have to be made to seek the lifting of imposed restrictions relating to a number of individual cases, including this case.
Speaking following the adjournment of proceedings this morning, the deceased boy’s mother said: “Last February, I stood on the steps of the courthouse after my son’s killer was jailed for life, and I felt that I played my part in arguing for the amendment to the Children’s Act, and the Minister for Justice heard my call and others’ calls, but I am still left unable to talk about my son publicly.”
“I feel very angry and very stressed. I believed that today I would be able to talk about my son. I would have thought that the court order in my son’s case would have been lifted when the law changed, this has been so confusing for me, and I’m sure there are other parents who have lost children who feel the same way.”
“I want the court to lift the restrictions in my son’s case as soon as possible to give me the opportunity to speak about my son. I have been silenced for too long.”
“I’m very upset over it, I’ve been up all night, and to hear this now, makes me very angry. I just don’t understand it, it’s adding more stress for me.”
“It’s so unfair, I should have been able to speak about (son’s name) on the steps of the court, last February. I’ve been silenced from from speaking about (son’s name) and now, even though the law is lifted, I still can’t talk about (son’s name).”
The heartbroken mother said the restrictions on identifying her son, was only serving “to hide the killer and what he did to my son”.
“What it is doing is it is protecting (killer’s name), it’s not protecting (son’s name), in fact it is silencing the type of child (son’s name) was, and for us to able to speak about him.”
“It’s helping to hide (killer’s name) and hide what he has done. I’m very angry and feel let down by the justice system.”
The woman’s son was beaten with a hammer and stabbed to death at a location in the State in November 2019.
The killer who pleaded guilty to murder said he heard voices in his head telling him to stab the boy.