Nikita, 11, seeks justice for her dad

The daughter of a man beaten to death with an axe has made an emotional appeal for witnesses to help find justice for her family.

Nikita Lee, aged 11, said her Christmas wish is to have her dad back and for gardaí to charge the killer.

Jeffrey Hannan was killed in an unprovoked attack near his home in Southill, Limerick, on November 22, 2007. He was 19.

Gardaí said he was an innocent victim who had no links to crime.

Speaking on the eve of the 10th anniversary of her father’s murder, Nikita, who was just a month old when her father was killed, said: “I miss my daddy so much. It hurts me to know that he is in a grave, and he’s not there for special occasions like my communion, my birthday, and at Christmas.

“I wish my daddy was here to open my Christmas presents with me, so he could help me and hug me and kiss me, and wish me a merry Christmas. Instead I have to visit his grave.”

Twenty people have been arrested but no one has been charged with the killing. Two years ago, a potentially key witness contacted gardaí which led to the re-arrest of six people. However, the DPP ruled there was insufficient evidence to proceed with a prosecution.

Nikita said she attends a local counselling service and feels “angry, hurt, and very confused…knowing that people know about what happened to my daddy, and they won’t come forward and let us know what happened to get justice”.

Nikita said her letter to Santa this year will contain the same request as last year: “One thing is to have my daddy back, or to get justice for him. To get the people who killed him behind bars.”

Appealing for witnesses to contact gardaí, Nikita said: “Some people are afraid, or they might feel like they ratted. I know where they are coming from, but they also need to help my family out, and help me.

“Everyone knows what happened to my dad and everyone knows who killed him.”

Like most other children, Nikita should be looking forward to Christmas but said it made her sad instead.

“Last year I couldn’t open my presents. I sat down on my chair and started roaring crying. I wished my daddy was there to open them.

“What hurts me more is his last words were my name, and, then, I’m speechless. I just can’t handle it. I just wish my daddy was by my side.”

Anyone with information about Mr Hannan’s murder can contact gardaí at Roxboro Road Garda Station on 061 214340 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.


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