Man given life sentence for murdering the mother of his children

Danny Keena from Ballynacargy choked Brigid Maguire to death in 2015

Man given life sentence for murdering the mother of his children

File photo. Image: RollingNews.ie

A Westmeath man has been handed the mandatory life sentence for murder after being convicted on Monday of intentionally strangling his ex-partner.

Danny Keena from Empor in Ballynacargy choked Brigid Maguire to death during an argument in her home in 2015.

Both their children gave evidence against him and recalled incidents of domestic abuse in the family home.

At his sentence hearing today, their daughter Jade described her mother as kind and caring and said they would never forgive Keena for what he did.

Afterwards, she had this message for anyone who finds themselves in a violent and abusive relationship:

“We are relieved to get justice for my mammy,” she said. “Sadly it won’t bring mammy back.”

“I would like to advise anyone else who is suffering from domestic abuse not to be afraid to seek help as soon as possible so you won’t end up like my mother.”

She said he father was very abusive towards her mother – describing one argument during which he threatened Brigid with a hammer and a poker.

“We would just like to thank the gardaí from Mullingar Garda Station for their support and hard work.

“We would also like to thank the jury members for seeking the truth.”

Abusive

Her younger brother, who is only in second year now, became visibly upset during his evidence as he described his father as a “bully” who would often threaten to kill his mother.

The trial heard eventually Brigid took the kids and moved into a house on Main Street in Ballynacargy. That was September 2015.

Five weeks later, Danny went to their new home and strangled her during an argument. He claimed he was provoked after she accused him of being a bad father.

Kind and caring

In her victim impact statement, Jade said she’ll never forget seeing her poor mother lying on the floor of her bedroom.

She said it will haunt her forever. She described her as a kind and caring person who was full of life and always put the needs of others before her own.

She said she would never forgive Danny Keena for what he did – not once referring to him as her father in her statement.

Outside court, she said she hoped her story would inspire other victims of domestic abuse to come forward.

“We would just like to thank the gardaí from Mullingar Garda Station for their support and hard work.

“We would also like to thank the jury members for seeking the truth.”