The father of stab victim Dean Fitzpatrick and missing person Amy Fitzpatrick has said his other son and Dean’s son are keeping him going.
The family also said they have renewed hope of finding Amy after new information came to light in a much older missing person case.
Christopher Fitzpatrick was speaking after his ex wife’s new husband was sentenced to seven years in prison for killing Dean.
“I just thought it would be a longer sentence than what he got,” Mr Fitzpatrick said of David Mahon’s seven-year term.
“He was a nice young man. He was only growing up. He was a young man when he died, far too young to die.”
He said that things had been very hard, but that having the court case behind them would help with the grieving. “I just felt the sentence could have been longer, but that seems to be the way the system works here.”
Mahon had apologised in court through his counsel.
“I wouldn’t accept his apology under any circumstances,” said Mr Fitzpatrick, adding that everybody was aware of what he had done.
He said Mahon was not his son’s stepfather. “He wasn’t even married at the time. It’s just what he called himself. That’s it.”
Asked what was keeping him going, Mr Fitzpatrick said he had “another son left” and that he and Dean’s little boy were keeping him going.
His sister and Dean’s aunt, Christine Kenny, said the family was relieved that the process was over. “It has been a long road to get here. Today has given us some closure,” she said, adding that the family still has a long road ahead in the search for Amy.
“We have some hope now for Amy, with this other case, this person coming forward over this young lad,” she said, referring to the Philip Cairns case in which a woman has come forward with information 30 years after he went missing.
“We hope that people will come across now and give the information that’s needed as regards Amy.”
Ms Kenny said Dean’s killing had affected the family terribly. “Dean’s death has been a huge loss to our lives and we will never forgive the man who killed Dean. He has put us through hell and back,” she said.
“Christopher’s life is turned upside down completely. It’s absolutely devastating looking at my brother, Dean’s child, and his girlfriend, Sarah, seeing how it’s affecting them so badly.”
Ms Kenny said it was affecting Dean’s toddler son badly too. “He’s looking for his daddy. Sarah brings him up to the grave on a regular basis,” she said.
“It’s sad looking at a little boy, that there’s no daddy there to see him going to school. He’ll be starting school this year and he’s graduating next week from playschool. He misses his daddy.”
She said that justice had been served but not as they would have liked it.
“I just thought the sentence wasn’t really great. Nothing to do with the judge, it’s just the way it was put across. We just have to wait and let him run his time, basically.”
Asked what she thought the sentence should have been, said: “Life for a life.”
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