Man jailed for life for murdering special needs brothers in Mayo

Alan Cawley admitted beating Jack and Tom Blaine to death

A 30-year-old man is beginning a life sentence after being convicted for a double murder in Co Mayo.

Alan Cawley from Four Winds in Corrimbla, Ballina beat brothers Jack and Tom Blaine in the home they shared in Castlebar in 2013.

In a victim impact statement delivered just after Cawley was found guilty of the double murder, Jack and Tom Blaine's cousin Paul Dunne described his cousins as defenceless, old age pensioners with special needs who minded their own business and enjoyed the simple things in life.

On a night in July 2013, Cawley beat the brothers to death in what was a vicious, prolonged and totally unprovoked attack.

He claimed he was suffering from a mental disorder at the time but the jury disagreed.

Mr Justice Paul Coffey said his actions were as "wanton as they were savage" before handing down the mandatory life sentence.

Jack and Tom's first cousin Paul Dunne speaks outside court | Image: Frank Greaney

Speaking outside court afterwards, Mr Dunne described how hard it was to hear about the brutal way he took their lives.

"It was distressing, of course it was distressing.

"He didn't go in and kill these people, he went in and slaughtered these people - it's as simple as that.

"I hope he has a long painful death, that's what I hope.

"Jack and Thomas Blaine went around the town, they minded their own business - they never bothered with anyone, they never took anything that didn't belong to them.

"In my opinion, they were two saints".

Newstalk's courts correspondent Frank Greaney was in court.

He told Drive about the details revealed in court, which some people may find distressing.