The evidence was given yesterday at the sentence hearing of his ex-wife’s partner, who had pleaded guilty to his manslaughter.
David Shanley, aged 47, of Courtown Harbour, Gorey, Co Wexford, pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of John Lawlor on December 24 or 25, 2014, at Ballinatray Lower, Courtown Harbour. The State accepted the plea and Shanley was before the court for sentencing yesterday.
Detective Inspector Murt Whelan testified that the victim’s brother, Tony Lawlor, dialled 999 shortly before midnight that Christmas Eve to say his brother had been stabbed at his home.
Gardaí found Shanley lying on the ground outside Mr Lawlor’s front door and the deceased slumped on the couch inside. He had a stab wound below his right knee and was not breathing.
An autopsy found he died of haemorrhage and shock due to an incise wound to a varicose vein of his leg. It was a shallow wound, but was to the major vein of the lower leg, which was varicose and close to the surface. Had it not been a varicose vein, the wound would not have been so serious, State pathologist Marie Cassidy said in her report.
Justice Paul Butler remanded Shanley in custody and will hand down sentence in two weeks.
Mr Lawlor’s two sisters and two of his daughters delivered separate victim impact statements to the court. His third daughter is still a child.
Arlene Lawlor said her father was a man like no other, and had loved her unconditionally.
“He was my light in my darkest hour,” she said, adding that he had been a fantastic dad and grandad.