It is not fair to criticise me for saying how the killing of my son impacted on me, Majella Holohan, mother of murdered school boy Robert said today.
She was speaking after Mr Justice Paul Carney last night in UCC said that any victim who willfully abused the victim impact statement procedure would be dealt with by the courts.
Majella delivered an emotional victim impact statement at the sentencing hearing of Robert’s killer Wayne O’Donoghue last January.
She said that semen had been found on her son’s body — something that had not been made public before this.
Mr Justice Carney was delivering his annual address to the Law Society at UCC where he is Adjunct Professor of Law.
“Even though I wasn’t identified by name, Mr Justice Paul Carney clearly referred to me and my victim impact statement in Ennis in January 2006 at the sentence of Wayne O’Donoghue for the unlawful killing of my son Robert,” said Majella in a statement.
“I am offended and hurt at the remarks of Mr Justice Carney. He has a public forum available to him to make these comments but does not make himself available for debate or discussion.
“I also believe that it is unfair to criticise me for giving details of how this crime impacted upon me. I am not a lawyer but I must say what I felt.”
Majella issued her statement through her solicitor Earnst Cantillon last night but was not available for comment today.
Nobody answered at the family home in Midleton earlier today.
“I understand that as a legally trained person, he can and should distinguish between facts he has to take into account and those which he cannot. I do not believe it’s fair to put a victim in the same position.
“I do not believe it is appropriate to censor victims as to what they can say so that it can be palatable for the judge or the offender. A victim should be entitled to say how the crime has impacted upon them. Whether or not the judge takes into account what I or any other victim says as to how a crime has impacted on me or other victims is a matter for the judge to decide,” she said.
Robert’s maternal grandmother Mrs Mona Murray this morning said that she was “too upset” to make a comment on Justice Carney’s comments.