Family tells of ‘utter despair’ as murderer lodges appeal

Family tells of ‘utter despair’ as murderer lodges appeal

By Olivia Kelleher

A mother who endured three murder trials before she saw the killer of her daughter jailed for life has spoken of her devastation after an appeal was lodged.

Darren Murphy, aged 41, of Passage West, Co Cork has lodged an appeal on his conviction for the murder of playschool teacher and youth leader, Olivia Dunlea.

Family tells of ‘utter despair’ as murderer lodges appeal

Murphy tried to smother Ms Dunlea, 36, a mother of three, before stabbing her multiple times and setting fire to her home in Passage West on February 17, 2013.

He was convicted by a jury on June 18 at the Central Criminal Court, sitting in Cork.

Murphy lodged an appeal on July 11.

Confirming the appeal, the Courts Service did not specify the details.

The conviction came after a third trial.

Two previous murder trials had resulted in a hung jury and later a conviction which was overturned on a legal issue.

Olivia’s mother, Ann Dunlea, originally from Victoria Avenue in Cork City, said the family felt utter despair at the decision by Mr Murphy to appeal.

“We are back to square one. Demented again. There is no end to it. It is a punishment for us. He is grand,” Ms Dunlea told The Neil Prendeville Show on Cork’s Red FM.

“It shouldn’t be allowed. We are just after getting over all the trial business again. We were delighted with the conviction but Olivia wasn’t coming home.”

She said Murphy that had told lies and had “dragged” her daughter’s name through the muck.

Ms Dunlea said she was indebted to gardaí for their support but claimed, ultimately, it was all about the rights of an accused.

“Click your fingers. Apply for an appeal,” she said.

“We are sitting in the court listening to three trials and we can’t open our mouths.

“Some days I felt like standing up and saying: ‘That is my child you are talking about.’

“And they are all lies out of his mouth. In all my life, I never expected this to happen to us.”

Before the third trial commenced, Murphy, from Dan Desmond Drive in Passage West, had pleaded not guilty to murder but admitted manslaughter. The DPP declined to accept his plea.

Ms Dunlea was only identified through her dental records.

Her mother said she and her family have since suffered through the mental torture of three trials, which compounded their grief.

More on this topic

Judge refuses Wexford man’s request seeking return of vehicle by CabJudge refuses Wexford man’s request seeking return of vehicle by Cab

Alcoholic father gets suspended sentence for leaving daughters in guesthouse to go drinking and hitting one of themAlcoholic father gets suspended sentence for leaving daughters in guesthouse to go drinking and hitting one of them

Council tells Johnny Ronan to keep noise down at D4 venue described as 'pop-up party venue'Council tells Johnny Ronan to keep noise down at D4 venue described as 'pop-up party venue'

Luas passenger injured when taxi collided with tram awarded €80kLuas passenger injured when taxi collided with tram awarded €80k


More in this Section

'The show must go on' - Shane Ross returns to canvassing after suffering hand injury'The show must go on' - Shane Ross returns to canvassing after suffering hand injury

The Lotto results are in...The Lotto results are in...

Man (35) charged following alleged stabbing in the NorthMan (35) charged following alleged stabbing in the North

Seamus Mallon funeral details announcedSeamus Mallon funeral details announced


Lifestyle

Esther N McCarthy paints a pretty picture with her January picks, along with cool ideas for fridges and lunchboxesWishlist: Fridges and lunchboxes make our list of January picks

Maturity isn’t a good fit for every rapper (see: Kanye’s bedraggled coming-to-Jesus phase). But through 2018 it was working a treat for former bad boy — and Ariana Grande’s ex — Mac Miller. But then his story turned to tragedy as that September, the 26 year-old died of an accidental drug overdose.Review: Mac Miller - Circles

The year is 2399, and Jean-Luc Picard dreams of his old ship, destroyed three decades ago, and his dear friend, the android Data, dead 20 years now. Dreams turn to nightmare, and Picard awakens, old and defeated, in his French château.Review: Star Trek: Picard

A Polish prisoner carefully checks there are no guards around before he enters one of the SS cloakrooms in Auschwitz. He takes out a hidden vial and quickly sprinkles its contents on the collars of those hated uniforms, before slipping out again. Within two weeks some of the Germans had come down with the typhoid that was wiping out so many of the prisoners.Gripping account of the hero who volunteered to go to Auschwitz

More From The Irish Examiner