Limerick man admits partner’s manslaughter

A Limerick man who successfully appealed against his conviction for the murder of his partner yesterday pleaded guilty to her manslaughter.

In March 2007, Kieran Lynch, aged 49, was sentenced to life in prison by Mr Justice Paul Carney, having been found guilty by a Central Criminal Court jury of the murder of his partner, Catherine McEnery.

Lynch, a native of Askeaton in Co Limerick, had pleaded not guilty at a Galway sitting of the Central Criminal Court to the murder in Craughwell, Co Galway, in July 2005.

Lynch and Ms McEnery had been living together for 10 years and moved into a traditional cottage known as Rose Cottage in Craughwell in June 2005. On July 17, Ms McEnery was found dead in a bedroom in the cottage.

Lynch brought an appeal against his conviction in December 2013. Giollaiosa Ó Lideadha, defending, told the Court of Criminal Appeal the appeal focused on two issues, the first being the issue of the trial judge’s charge to the jury on provocation, while the other was a motion to introduce fresh evidence in to the case.

Mr Ó Lideadha said the former was the “priority issue” and came down to a crucial exchange between the jury foreman and Mr Justice Carney in which the jury were misdirected as to the law on provocation and intent.

In July 2015, Mr Justice Donal O’Donnell, presiding at the appeal court, quashed the conviction of Lynch for the murder of his partner.

The Court of Criminal Appeal granted Lynch an appeal against his conviction after finding the trial judge’s response to questions from the jury concerning provocation, while “entirely well meant”, was “misconceived and confusing”.

A retrial was ordered and yesterday Lynch was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of Ms McEnery.

This plea was accepted by the DPP and Lynch was remanded in custody on the same conditions.

Today, Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy directed a probation report for when Lynch will be sentenced on July 18.


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