‘I have no problem staying here. There are no ghosts’

As John Geary yesterday began four life sentences , life went on as normal at 18 Hazelgrove, Newcastle West.

It was hard to reconcile this neat, cul-de-sac estate with the scene of one of the biggest multiple murders in the State’s history .

Building worker Shane Joyce now rents the three-bedroom semi from the owner, Atar Jay Singh.

Mr Joyce, 35, said: “After what happened, the owner, Mr Singh, gutted the entire house. All that remained were the bare walls and the floor boards. He also owns the three-bedroom house next door.”

It is believed Mr Singh initially contemplated levelling the house.

Mr Joyce said: “I have no problem staying here. As far as I am concerned what happened it done. It is only a building and there are no ghosts and it isn’t haunted.”

Before they split up, John Geary, aged 34, originally from Milford, Co Cork, lived at 18 Hazelgrove with Ms Hines, aged 25, and their baby Amy, five months, and Ms Hines’ son Reece, 3.

Alicia Brough, a friend of Sarah’s was visiting on Nov 15, 2010, when Geary murdered all four.

Newcastle West yesterday seemed a world away from that grim day when schools went into lockdown amid fears of a crazed killer still stalking the streets. Local people did not want to talk about the events of that day, and most did not realise John Geary was to be sentenced.

One person, who asked not to be named, said: “There have been many victims, those who died and their families. The Geary family; they have also suffered enormously. They are fine people and highly respected. We feel for all of the victims.”

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