Murder victim's mother asks why it has taken eight years to open son's inquest

Robert Sheehan, 21, was shot and critically wounded at Bunratty Castle Hotel in Co Clare, in the early hours of September 2, 2012, and died the following day at University Hospital Limerick.

Murder victim's mother asks why it has taken eight years to open son's inquest

The mother of a Limerick man gunned down eight years ago has sought answers as to why it has taken eight years for an inquest into his death to be held.

Robert Sheehan, 21, was shot and critically wounded at Bunratty Castle Hotel in Co Clare, in the early hours of September 2, 2012, and died the following day at University Hospital Limerick.

Mr Sheehan, who was known to gardaí, was shot by a gunman outside the front entrance of the hotel where he was attending a family wedding reception.

Two men whom gardaí suspect had vital information about the killing were later arrested at a garda checkpoint in Cork, however no persons have been charged in connection the murder.

Majella Sheehan said she wrote to the office of the Limerick coroner’s office, last year, seeking answers as to why her son’s inquest had not been opened.

She said she has yet to receive her son’s death certificate.

In her email to the coroner’s office, dated on September 28 last, Ms Sheehan added: “I would like to know the results of his post mortem and to have a death cert issued for him.”

An inquest into Mr Sheehan’s violent death is scheduled to open at Limerick Coroner’s Court on March 11.

It is likely the inquest will be adjourned as the garda investigation into his murder has not concluded and it remains an open investigation.

Ms Sheehan told the Limerick Post: “There’s a lot I don’t know about Robert’s murder. I know he was shot in the head, but I don’t know how many times.”

“What are they going to say in the inquest, I don't know. There is a lot I haven't been told, all I know is he was murdered.”

Ms Sheehan said she was “really shocked” when the coroner’s office replied informing her the inquest was due to open later this month.

“I’m shocked really. We had to ask for this, and for it to take nearly eight years, is a long time.”

Robert Sheehan
Robert Sheehan

Despite gardaí making public appeals for information over the years, she said she was not confident her son’s killers would be brought to justice.

“To this day, I can’t understand how they haven't been arrested. It’s going on too long.”

She said gardaí have told her they believe “they know who did it, they know where they are” but they need further information.

“They are never gong to get their information until they bring them in and question them, that's how I feel.

"But, I won’t be giving up until I get justice for Robert. He is my child at the end of the day”.

Majella Sheehan organised a march in Limerick last year calling for a local garda cold case unit to be established, however the Garda Commissioner, Drew Harris, responded that open investigations would continue to be reviewed locally before such cases could potentially be considered by a national garda cold case unit based in Dublin.

The coroner’s office in Limerick has been asked if it was aware of the reason why Mr Sheehan’s inquest has not yet been opened. It has yet to repond.

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