The sister of a woman murdered by her husband has hit out at the Parole Board after being told he is being considered for outside visits with his family. Brian Kearney was found guilty of murdering his wife Siobhan at a trial at the Central Criminal Court in 2008.
Kearney was jailed in 2008 following a murder trial at the Central Criminal Court. On February 28, 2006 Kearney strangled Ms Kearney at their home in Goatstown, Dublin.
Her sister Brigid McLaughlin said the family are relieved Kearney’s parole was refused, but say they are ‘bitterly disappointed’ that he is to be considered for outside family visits at neutral venues.
“Siobhan was 'throttled and garrotted' - the pathologist's phrase - in her own bedroom in Goatstown and she was strangled, which is the most coercive form of control,” Ms McLaughlin said.
“She was then hung over her bathroom door and left to die. She had no hope of escape. This was done with a Dyson flex. She was completely OCD on tidiness so the hoover was deliberately left beside her bed.
He locked the door so that she could not escape. So she was left there on her own, sober, alert on her own, and that's the death she had.
"Her son, her three-year-old son, was in the next room and she had no hope whatsoever. It was absolutely beyond words,” she told Sean O’Rourke on RTÉ Radio 1.
“My poor father broke down the door and found her,” she said. Ms McLaughlin said the family are relieved Kearney’s parole was refused but are ‘bitterly disappointed’ that he is to be considered for outside family visits at neutral venues.
“How can an unrepentant wife killer be rehabilitated by having tea and scones in a public place, how can this happen? After the description of her death, how can he be rehabilitated after that?
"He has been completely unrepentant, he has shown no remorse. We're talking about 52 kilos of absolute evil. This is a manipulative, devious, avaricious, unrepentant killer, wife killer. How can he be rehabilitated?” she said.
Ms McLaughlin said SAVE (Sentencing And Victim Equality) a victim support organisation, is growing concerned that such releases are becoming the norm. The group is planning a protest at government buildings next Wednesday morning.
“My mother is 80, my father is 86 - they're absolutely shocked, the impact of this on our family is unbelievable,” Ms McLaughlin said. “Siobhan was a beautiful, caring, devoted principled lady. She had a zest for life. She was witty, an amazing cook.
"And he can now after 11 years walk out - we can bump into him. My mum and dad could be in a hotel or anywhere in a car park, we could bump into him. I mean, how can anybody imagine what that is like?
"Before he was convicted I used to see him in Dun Laoghaire working, and bumped into him, I'd be sitting in my car in traffic lights and he would be smirking across at me. I'm in a situation now where I have my head over my shoulder, ready to meet him again, at any place at any time.
Ireland is a very small place, and if I don't bump into him, other people will and it will be reported back to me.
"It's absolutely sickening my stomach even talking to you know, I'm just a nervous wreck, my stomach is sickened thinking about this,” she said.
Kearney would be considered for two days outside visits. “Why should he have two days a year?” Ms McLaughlin asked.
“Siobhan hasn't got two days a year. She's down in Redford Cemetery in a wet grave. She hasn't two days a year. She hasn't got any life. She has been taken away. She has absolutely been snuffed out of this world as if she was nothing.
"I have to give you an example of the images that I have seen and my family have seen. In the funeral parlour in Glasthule, when she was in her coffin, I'm looking at a young beautiful face, and what is the predominant feature? Black bruises around her neck, and I have to go and find a scarf."
“My friend Mags has to go find a scarf to cover her neck. Her hands are black, her fingers are black from defence wounds. I mean, how horrific? Can you imagine this happening to one of your family members? Life should be for life.
"It was not a crime of passion. It was premeditated murder. He staged the scene. He was oblivious to his three-year-old baby son. He fed him Coco Pops in the morning and left the house and lied and lied and lied.
“Everybody thinks that there's closure, there's no closure for us. All of these parole hearings trigger every single memory for us, they trigger the court cases they trigger the post mortem photographs in the courtroom. They trigger the door in the court, the actual bathroom doors. We have to try and process that horror every day,” she said.