Mother found son in pool of blood on road after stabbing, inquest hears

A MOTHER who arrived at a scene where her 19-year-old son had been fatally attacked, saw blood on the road where he had died.

An inquest in Killarney was also told Philip O’Sullivan, of Clonee, Tuosist, Co Kerry, died from a single knife wound which went through his genital area and into his right groin.

Robert Anthony, aged 61, was given a 10-year prison sentence in the Central Criminal Court, last October, after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of Mr O’Sullivan at Derrylough, Tuosist, on August 22, 1997.

Gretta O’Sullivan recalled that she had given her son a lift home from a bar at 11.15 that night.

She went back to the bar, returned home at about 11.45 and realised Philip was not at home.

She went to bed but got a call some time later from her daughter who said there was something wrong. A neighbour also called to say Philip had been stabbed.

Ms O’Sullivan said when she went to the scene she found blood all over the road.

A garda sergeant and a doctor were there and she was told her son was dead.

Sgt Michael O’Brien, from Kenmare, said he arrived at the scene, following a report, at 12.15am. He saw a young man lying in a pool of blood on the roadside and a woman was trying to stem the flow of blood.

The man’s pulse was found to be very weak. Some time after that, Mr O’Sullivan’s mother and sister came on the scene.

Sgt O’Brien said Mr O’Sullivan was pronounced dead at the scene, at 12.45am, by Dr Rory O’Driscoll.

A postmortem examination by former state pathologist Prof John Harbison found Mr O’Sullivan had several lacerations and bruises to his head and upper body.

An injury to his thumb would suggest he had tried to grab the knife in a defensive act. The deceased had a concentration of 244mgs of alcohol in his blood.

Prof Harbison concluded death was caused by shock and haemorrhage due to a single stab wound, stretching for almost eight inches through the genital area and into his right groin.

A jury returned a verdict of unlawful killing by violence.

Coroner Terence Casey said the reason the inquest had not been held much earlier was due to the criminal inquiry into Mr O’Sullivan’s death.

Extending sympathy to the man’s family, he said “resurrecting” the details of the case at the inquest must have been heartbreaking but he hoped it would be final step in the tragic affair.

Supt Michael Maher, from Killarney, described the killing as an “awful tragedy”, adding gardaí would give the family whatever support they could.

Meanwhile, during Anthony’s trial, evidence had been given that Anthony along with a woman and Mr O’Sullivan had been socialising in bars in Kenmare earlier on the day of killing.

Mr O’Sullivan was stabbed during a scuffle with Anthony in a house in Derrylough, staggered outside, collapsed and died, the court had heard.

Anthony left the jurisdiction while on bail in late 1997, but was extradited from Britain in 2008, after serving seven years of a 10-year sentence for armed robbery.


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