Solicitor: 'No winners' in fratricide case

"There are no winners in this case", according to solicitor Michael Lannigan outside the Central Criminal Court sitting in Waterford today, as 19-year-old Caroline Brennan walked free.

"There are no winners in this case", according to solicitor Michael Lannigan outside the Central Criminal Court sitting in Waterford today, as 19-year-old Caroline Brennan walked free.

The Kilkenny teenager was handed a five-year suspended sentence, having been found guilty of the manslaughter of her brother yesterday.

22-year-old Michael Brennan was killed by a single stab wound to the chest at a party in his uncle's house at 35 Barrack Street in Castlecomer, Co. Kilkenny on December 30, 2008.

Before today's sentencing, the court heard from the Brennan's father Bill, who said that his daughter "was never any trouble, and was always a good girl".

Caroline Brennan, the fourth youngest in a family of eight, wept as her father outlined a series of tragedies which had hit their family, and he begged the judge to "give us a chance to take her home and get her through her education".

There was also a plea from Gerry Byrne, Father of Keith Byrne, Caroline's partner.

He spoke of witnessing her "raw remorse" saying the "torment in the prison of Caroline's mind will haunt her for the rest of her life...is that not punishment enough?"

During sentencing, Mr Justice Paul Carney said he took into account Caroline Brennan's previous good character, her lack of previous convictions, and the fact she'd have to live with the act of fratricide for the rest of her life.

He took into account the concern she would have shown for her brother's drug problems, the dignity shown throughout the trial and the investigation, as well as the effect a number of family tragedies had had on the girl.

He also noted the family pleas that she not be imprisoned, but said he had difficulty with the fact the accused had armed herself with a knife before she went to the scene.

It was stated that the DPP would not appeal a suspended sentence, and Caroline Brennan was handed down a five-year suspended sentence with a €1000 bond to keep the peace from today.

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