Geary stabbed former partner Sarah Hines, her children Amy and Reece, and friend Alicia Brough to death in 2010 in a murder spree triggered by his jealousy over the fact that Ms Hines had entered a relationship with another man.
During his sentencing on Monday, Alicia Brough’s mother Maria Dempsey, her husband Paul and four of their children told the court of the grief they still feel almost three years later.
Afterwards, Ms Dempsey described how her eldest child, who was 10 days short of her 21st birthday, was “outstandingly” kind and caring. It was these characteristic which had her in Sarah Hines’ house on the day of the brutal attack.
“Alicia had been with Sarah the whole weekend prior to the day,” said Ms Dempsey told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland. “She was wanting to support Sarah who was uncomfortable about being on her own for some time. Alicia stayed with her to give her company. Sarah had moved on to Newcastle West and John Geary had followed her and had moved into a separate address. She was uncomfortable that he could call when he liked.”
Ms Dempsey told how she first became worried when she had not had any contact from Alicia for 24 hours.
“I rang Sarah’s mum Abina to ask if she had heard from any of them but at this point Abina was at the house and had discovered that the gardaí were there and had cordoned off the house and that something very tragic had happened.”
Ms Dempsey was pregnant at the time of the killing and said she did not know how she got through the rest of the pregnancy.
“For a good few months after I did feel maybe I was in a state of shock but your body just copes with what it can cope with.
“I slipped between moments of holding onto the child in my tummy and wanting to protect that baby and in the same breath crying for another one. That was very difficult.”
Maria Dempsey, who had moved from England to Rockchapel in Cork nine years ago said: “It is just very sad that what happened to us happened. I do hope that some people can take a message from this. I asked that their deaths are not in vain.
“John Geary had no convictions for violent behaviour but he was controlling. He was finding it difficult to take the end of the relationship. There are probably many women, and men as well, out there who are going through the same situation and don’t feel they are in that much danger but I would ask that people, do be more careful.”