A 43-year-old man has been sentenced to life in prison for murdering a man in a pub in Limerick city.
Mark Crawford from Quarry Road, Thomondgate, Limerick stabbed 24-year-old Patrick ‘Pa’ O’Connor six times in July 2018.
The Judge described the accused man’s actions as ‘madness’ that were fuelled by alcohol, cocaine and knives.
She said too many deaths in Ireland are resulting from the combination and warned that something has to be done about it.
Speaking outside court, the victim’s sister Deborah O’Connor said it was hard watching CCTV of her brother, moments before his death.
“We saw Patrick just a few moments, you know on camera, before this happened dancing, messing with people he knew in the bar,” she said.
“Just to feel like within the space of ten minutes to go back to where he was sitting and for that to happen, it just doesn’t make any sense.”
She said the trial has been “incredibly distressing and difficult time for our family.”
“To see him on CCTV footage in the moments before he was murdered acting like his usual fun-loving self has left us heartbroken.
“Although we will never get Patrick back today has brought us some comfort knowing we have received justice for Patrick.”
Ms O’Connor described her brother as ‘fun-loving, hard-working and always up for the craic.’
She said the apology Crawford offered in court will do nothing to heal the family’s heartbreak.
“To be honest, We are never going to get Patrick back,” she said.
“There are no words or no apology that will ever bring him back so it doesn’t change our heartbreak.”
She said the family will take “some comfort” from knowing he will now serve a life sentence.
Reporting from Stephanie Rohan at the Criminal Courts of Justice.