What the Fuck, is Happening, in Irish Society, Pensioner Admits Guilt, of Killing Daughter, and Seriously Injuring his Wife, in Co Meath?

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PURE ANGRY’ 

Pensioner pleads guilty to starting fire which killed daughter & seriously injured wife

  • 14:46, 22 Jul 2022
  • Updated: 14:46, 22 Jul 2022

A PENSIONER has pleaded guilty to starting a fire which claimed the life of his daughter and seriously injured his wife, a court heard this week.

Peter O’Brien, 81, with an address at St Michael’s, Beauparc, Co Meath pleaded guilty to the unlawful killing of Sinead Masterson on December 16, 2021.

Sinead Masterson died from her injuries in Dublin seven months after the blaze
Sinead Masterson died from her injuries in Dublin seven months after the blazeCredit: Handout – RIP.IE

Mother-of-two Sinead died from her injuries at St James’ Hospital in Dublin seven months after the blaze on May 19.

Mr O’Brien pleaded guilty causing criminal damage with intent to endanger life and property on that date and assault causing harm to Maureen O’Brien, also on May 19.

Garda Katryn Christie told prosecuting counsel Carl Hanahoe BL that Peter and Maureen O’Brien had been living separate lives at their family home for a number of years prior to the incident.

The fire had been started after family members called to the O’Brien family home to wish Maureen a happy birthday, which had caused the defendant to become enraged and throw her birthday cards in the bin.

Sinead, who lived nearby, confronted the defendant and retrieved the cards which she replaced on a mantlepice in the sitting room.

A short time later Peter O’Brien entered the room with a plastic bucket filled with petrol and threw it over the stove.

Sinead told Gardai: “Dad came into the room and said this will be the end of this property and threw the petrol on the stove.”

His wife Maureen recalled crawling out of the house on her hands and knees, later telling gardai: “There were flames everywhere – he was pure angry, pure mad.”

Mrs O’Brien suffered second and third degree burns to her face hands and knees.

In a garda interview he claimed the marking of his wife’s birthday was to provoke him and he just “couldn’t take anymore.”

Judge Martina Baxter was told that Sinead’s clothes had been burned off her in the blaze and she had to be taken to St James’ Hospital in Dublin where is spite of her determination to fight her injuries she died on December 16, 2021.

In a succession of victim impact statement members of Sinead’s family spoke of how their lives would never be the same.

‘I’LL NEVER UNDERSTAND’

Maureen said her life had been destroyed with her daughter and her home taken from her.

She said she spoke to her daughter’s picture every night.

She said: “I’ll never understand how or why it happened but it shouldn’t have happened.”

Sinead’s sister Noeleen Donoghue spoke of the empty space at family gatherings and her fear of her father.

‘HOPE I NEVER SEE HIM AGAIN’

She said: “I hope I never see him again after the court is finalised.”

Edward Masterson spoke of his wife’s kindness and love of music.

Sinead’s daughters Laura and Ciara also told the court how their lives had been changed by the death of their beloved mum.

Defence barrister Kathleen Leader SC said her client prayed for Sinead every night and had not intended to harm her when he set the house on fire.

She added that the defendant had suffered from some mental health issues in his later life.

Judge Baxter who expressed her sympathies to the bereaved family and adjourned the case to October.

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