Pain of daughter and family’s 2010 murder lives on for grieving mother

Abina Ring with photos of her daughter Sarah and grandchildren, Reece and Amy.

The mother of a 25-year-old woman stabbed to death along with her friend and two children, has spoken for the first time about the pain of losing her only daughter and grandchildren.

Abina Ring, 51, lost her daughter Sarah Hines and her children Reece, 3, and five-month-old baby Amy, when they were murdered by John Geary at their home in Newcastle West, Co Limerick on November 15, 2010.

The 37-year-old murdered his ex-partner and their five-month-old daughter because she had left him. He also killed Ms Hines’ three-year-old son Reece, and her friend Alicia Brough, 20, because they happened upon the scene.

In an interview with the Limerick Voice student newspaper, Sarah’s heartbroken mother spoke for the first time about how she has been coping with her devastating loss.

“I’ve been living day to day, my children keep me going,” said the mother of six.

Originally from Milford in Co Cork, John Geary was given four concurrent life sentences for the murders in 2013.

Ms Ring says her grief is compounded by her fear of what might happen when Geary is released.

“He will get out; he’s probably thinking about it already. How will my boys react?” she asked.

“Life should mean life. He might be an old man by the time he’s free, but he can still hurt someone,” she added.

The grieving mother suffered a heart attack after finding out the details of her daughter’s murder.

“The guards told me all the details because they thought John was going to plead not guilty, and they wanted to prepare me for what was going to come up in court. I started getting pains down my arm. It was the shock of what I had been told.”

The heartbroken mother has warned how violence can visit anyone’s doorstep: “You see things like this on the news and think that’s not going to happen to me. But it could happen to you, your sister, your daughter, your neighbour, your friend.”

“I think Sarah would tell people to be careful. If you don’t feel safe, get out. If you see someone in an abusive situation, help them.”

It’s believed Geary became obsessive after the relationship fell apart months before the murder.

“He always wanted to know where she was and who she was with,” Abina recalled.

She believes more can be done to prevent more tragedies like Sarah’s.

“There should be a registry for people with a violent history. That way, when you bring someone into your home, you can see who they are,” she added.


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