Two people have been charged in connection with the murder of a four-year-old boy in Limerick last year.
Mason O’Connell Conway (4) was found with serious injuries at a house in Rathbane, Limerick city, on March 13, 2021. He died three days later in hospital in Dublin.
On Friday the boy’s father, John Paul O’Connell, 33, and his partner Tegan McGhee, of no fixed abode, were brought before Limerick District Court charged in connection with his alleged murder.
Ms McGhee, who is accused of murdering the boy, “made no reply” to the charge, gardaí told the court. Ms McGhee, late 20s, was also charged with one count of child cruelty.
Gardaí told the court Ms McGhee was arrested at 8pm on Thursday, October 6, at an address at Newcastle West, Co. Limerick. Gardaí said the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had directed Ms McGhee face a trial on indictment before the Central Criminal Court.
Judge Patricia Harney remanded her in custody to appear before Limerick District Court again via video-link for preparation of the State’s Book of Evidence, on October 11.
Mr O’Connell, with an address at Liscreagh, Murroe, Co. Limerick, was charged with one count of assisting an offender, namely Tegan McGhee; one count of child endangerment; and two counts of child cruelty.
Gardaí said they arrested Mr O’Connell at 8.25pm on Thursday, October 6, at his home address in Murroe and brought him to Roxboro Road Garda Station for questioning. Mr O’Connell also “made no reply” after he was cautioned and the charges against him were relayed to him by Gardaí.
Gardaí consented to bail for Mr O’Connell, on a number of strict conditions. As part of his bail conditions he must not commit any offences, he must reside at Liscreagh, Murroe, he must notify gardaí if he intends changing his address, and he must sign on at Roxboro Road Garda Station between 9am-9pm daily.
Mr O’Connell, represented by solicitor Sarah Ryan, must also obey a nightly curfew between 11pm and 7am, and he must be available to gardaí at all times via a charged and in-credit mobile phone.
Judge Harney said if Mr O’Connell failed to answer his phone to gardaí he would be in breach of his bail conditions and would be taken into custody. Mr O’Connell was also ordered to surrender his passport and not apply for any travel documents.
Gardaí said the DPP had directed that Mr O’Connell face a trial on indictment before the Central Criminal Court. Judge Harney remanded him on bail, on his own bond of €100, to November 3, for service of the State’s Book of Evidence.
The dead boy’s mother Elizabeth Conway broke down several times in court as she listened to the court proceedings. Ms Conway was supported by several friends and family members and she held a photograph of her dead son close to her chest throughout the hearing.