THE family of a murdered Kerry teenager have said they are “very upset” by remarks made by a solicitor representing one of the main suspects in the case who died last week.
The family of Stephen Lyne, 17, who died after a fatal knife attack close to his home at Ross Road, Killarney, in June 2009, said the remarks were inappropriate in the extreme.
Killarney solicitor Padraig O’Connell, who represented a suspect, Shane Regan, 18, spoke at the teenager’s funeral Mass in Fossa church, outside Killarney, on Sunday, and asked that his good name be preserved.
“He wasn’t charged, prosecuted or convicted of any offence and he was entitled to his presumption of innocence,” Mr O’Connell stated.
The solicitor made his comments in the wake of newspaper reports on the death of Mr Regan which quoted Garda sources describing him as one of the chief suspects in the Lyne murder investigation.
However, Mr Lyne’s mother, Lotte, said she and the family were very upset by the solicitor’s comments.
“At the time of Mr Regan’s death, the DPP was reviewing the file prepared by the Garda on the murder of our beloved son and brother, Stephen,” she said. “The decision as to whether to bring charges against Mr Regan and another young man in relation to Stephen’s murder was pending.”
In taking the unusual step to address mourners at Mr Regan’s funeral Mass, Mr O’Connell asked that his good name be preserved.
Stating Mr Regan died an innocent man, the solicitor also said he believed him and there wasn’t even a prosecution pending.
The late Mr Regan, of Droumkerry, Fossa, Killarney, was one of a number of suspects arrested after the death of Mr Lyne.
It is believed there were up to five youths in the vicinity of the incident at the time.
A file was sent to the DPP and a decision on that is still awaited by investigating gardaí, with the possibility of some person facing charges.
Mr Regan sustained serious head injuries after falling down a stairs in a house in Tralee last Wednesday. He had been on life support for some hours and died on Thursday last at Kerry General Hospital in Tralee.
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