Grandfather heartbroken over O’Donoghue’s ‘disgraceful’ sentence

THE grandfather of schoolboy Robert Holohan has branded the four-year sentence handed down to his killer as “disgraceful” and believes he should have been given at least 10 years in jail.

A clearly heartbroken William Murray said he hoped the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) would appeal against the sentence given to Wayne O’Donoghue, especially as the engineering student went to great lengths to try and dispose of the 11-year-old boy’s body.

Robert’s mother, Majella Holohan, is expected to write to the DPP today objecting to the leniency of the jail term imposed on O’Donoghue, who is currently in the Midlands Prison in Portlaoise.

The DPP has 28 days from the date of sentencing to appeal.

The Courts Service yesterday confirmed an appeal has not yet been lodged.

O’Donoghue was sentenced on Tuesday to four years in jail for his crime, backdated to January 16, 2005, the date he was taken into custody.

With a year’s remission anticipated from the prison authorities, he is likely to be out by the end of 2007.

Mr Murray said: “We were deeply hurt about the manner in which O’Donoghue tried to dispose of the body. It was the only consolation we had that Robert was found. We would have been satisfied if he got at least 10 years.”

Robert’s body was found nine days after he was killed, dumped in a ravine at Inch, about seven miles from Midleton.

The scene at the Lower Road was described as a desolate, isolated area covered with undergrowth.

Robert’s body was face down in the ditch and it had been attacked by animals by the time it was located by searchers.

Mr Murray said the family had received “marvellous support” from the people of Midleton and appealed to the media to respect the privacy of Robert’s parents and their two other children at this time.

He said Robert’s brother, Harry, and sister, Emma, had been particularly badly affected by the killing.

Yesterday a big padlock was put on the entrance gates to the Holohan household in Ballyedmond, Midleton.

More in this section