Members of the Moloney family and their friends attacked the convicted men as they were led away from Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
William McDonnell, aged 39, of Mary Aikenhead House, Dublin, received five years, while Francis Kenny, aged 43, of Basin Street, was jailed for three years for the manslaughter of 26-year-old Thomas Moloney Jnr.
Thomas Moloney Snr said he was “furious” with the sentences.
The Limerick-born victim was beaten to death at a filling station on Ushers Quay in Dublin in May 2002.
It was a second tragedy for the family. In 1995, 11-year-old Alan Moloney died following a hit and run near his home in Moyross, Limerick.
Thomas Moloney Jnr’s attackers were assaulted by some family members and friends as they were being taken from the Four Courts to holding cells. McDonnell was knocked to the ground and thumped before prison officers succeeded in getting him away. Kenny was less severely assaulted as officers pushed away his attackers.
Mr Moloney Snr, who attempted to stop the attacks, described how both his sons died in the intensive care unit of Beaumont Hospital in Dublin. “Thomas died in the next room to the one where Alan died. When I was in seeing Thomas, the head nurse showed me the bed where Alan died,” he said yesterday.
Following the death of his younger son, a man was taken to court but charges of dangerous and careless driving were dropped and he walked free after pleading guilty to leaving the scene of an accident.
The sentences handed down yesterday are, according to Mr Moloney, a further blow to the family’s faith in the judicial system. “I think the judicial system has let the Moloney family down again,” Mr Moloney argued, despite hearing Judge Yvonne Murphy’s lengthy explanation of her reasoning.
Judge Murphy said it might have been the deceased man who had instigated the violence in the first instance. She also noted that medical evidence produced during McDonnell’s trial showed it was not brute force that had caused the brain injuries that led Mr Moloney’s death but “rapid movement of the brain in the skull”.
However, Mr Moloney, while admitting his son did head butt McDonnell, said Thomas Jnr was walking away when he was attacked by the two men.