Family haunted by thought murdered mother died alone in derelict building

Amy McCarthy

The sister of 22-year-old murder victim Amy McCarthy has said that her family will always think of Amy "lying on the floor with no one to pick her up".

Jessie McCarthy was speaking today as Adam O'Keeffe, 27, was found guilty of Amy's murder by a unanimous verdict.

O'Keeffe murdered his girlfriend and the mother of his child in a jealous rage because he believed she had cheated on him while he had been in prison.

Amy’s sister Jessie McCarthy spoke for the whole family yesterday when she said: "The one thought in our minds that will remain forever is of Amy lying on the floor with no one to pick her up and get her the help she needed. We have no doubt she was pining for us that night.

"The one person that misses her most is her son, Adam. What we would do to see them reunited and see the joy on their faces again but we know that is never going to happen.

"If only one of us could swap places with Amy it would be done in a heartbeat.

The future holds a lot for Amy’s son, but we will face them day by day, step by step. There is one thing we would like to ask – that Amy’s son would continue to be known as Adam McCarthy, not the boy whose father killed his mother.

The family thanked the court and gardaí, particularly detectives Noel Maxwell, Shane Bergin and Anne O’Sullivan.

"The passing of Amy has left a big void in our life.

"She was a loving person, she was a daughter, a sister, a sister-in-law, a grandchild, a niece and an aunt. She was a cousin and a friend and most of all she was a mother.

"So, do we continue to grieve Amy’s passing? Yes, every day but we know we must go forward and that’s what she would have wanted."

Pictured leaving Court was sister of victim, Jessie McCarthy. Pic: Denis Boyle

Adam O’Keeffe had admitted the manslaughter of Amy McCarthy 22 but denied murdering her.

The jury reached their unanimous decision on the second day of deliberation on what was Day 8 of Adam O’Keeffe’s trial at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork.

The accused admitted manslaughter but pleaded not guilty to the murder of Amy McCarthy, 22, on April 29 2017 or April 30 2017 at 36 Sheares Street, Cork City.

The five men and six women returned to courtroom 4 at the new courthouse on Anglesea Street at 12.13pm with their verdict of guilty of murder.

One of the jurors was discharged earlier in the case.

The victim was found dead on the floor of a squat and a post mortem examination showed signs of blunt force trauma to the head, manual strangulation and the presence of a large quantity of alcohol.

Ms Justice Eileen Creedon imposed the mandatory sentence of life imprisonment.

Adam O'Keeffe

Earlier: Man, 27, found guilty of murdering girlfriend, 22, in jealous rage

A 27-year-old Cork man has been found guilty of murdering his 22-year-old girlfriend and mother of his infant son in Cork city last year.

The jury returned a unanimous verdict after two hours of deliberations.

Adam O'Keeffe, a native of Midleton, had denied the murder but admitted the manslaughter of 22-year-old Amy McCarthy.

The mother of one from Greenmount died on April 29th or April 30th 2017 at a derelict building on Sheares Street.

The court heard evidence from witness Dean Nugent that Mr O'Keeffe began hitting Ms McCarthy with his fists because he believed she had cheated on him while he was in prison.

He said that Mr O'Keeffe had lost the plot and Mr Nugent begged him to stop but he was unable to stop him.

Mr O'Keeffe continued to hit her over a sustained period at the squat.

Earlier, Assistant State Pathologist, Dr Margaret Bolster said Ms McCarthy lay in a coma for at least four hours after the assault by Mr O'Keeffe before she died.

Her death was caused by a complex combination of factors including blunt force trauma to the head, manual strangulation and acute alcohol intoxication after being assaulted by Mr O'Keeffe.

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