Inquest returns unlawful killing verdict in case of man who died after one-punch attack

Dundalk man Jason Kearney (49) sustained blow to the head from man who later alerted emergency services

The death of a Dundalk man 10 days after he suffered a traumatic brain injury from a fall to the ground in Dublin’s north inner city two years ago was due to an unlawful killing, an inquest has found.

A sitting of Dublin District Coroner’s Court heard Jason Kearney (49) – a father of four from Ashling Park, Cox’s Demesne, Dundalk, Co Louth – had sustained a blow to the head in the early hours of September 2nd, 2020, at Seville Row in Dublin, from a man who later alerted emergency services to the incident.

A jury of nine women returned a unanimous verdict of unlawful killing in relation to Mr Kearney’s death at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital in Dublin on September 12th, 2020.

Detective Sergeant Shane Noonan told the inquest that an individual had been charged in relation to Mr Kearney’s death and had pleaded guilty to his manslaughter.


Ian Moore (31), an electrician and father of two, was sentenced to two years in prison for the offence by Dublin Circuit Criminal Court in March.

Det Sgt Noonan said Moore had admitted striking his victim with just one blow which resulted in him falling backwards and hitting his head off the footpath.

Det Sgt Noonan also informed the coroner, Clare Keane, that Moore had not lodged any appeal against his conviction or sentence.

During a hearing at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court last March, evidence was heard that Moore had told gardaí that the deceased had forced his way into his home in the early hours of the morning after he had opened his front door after going downstairs to investigate a noise.

There was a scuffle between the two men before Mr Kearney was pushed out of the property.

Moore said his pregnant partner had then mistakenly believed that Mr Kearney had taken her bag and he went after him in his car to get it back.

The court heard Mr Kearney informed Moore that he did not have the bag at one stage before the altercation ensued at Seville Place.

At the inquest, paramedic with Dublin Fire Brigade Ciaran Barry said an ambulance crew were called to attend a scene at Seville Place at around 3am where they discovered a man lying on the ground with blood coming from his nose and mouth.

Mr Barry said the injured party appeared to be having seizures and was unable to communicate with them.

A doctor who oversaw the treatment of Mr Kearney in the hospital, Brian Marsh, said the patient had been referred to doctors at Beaumont Hospital who advised that he was not suitable for neurological intervention because of the nature of his head injury.

Assistant State pathologist, Heidi Okkers, said the results of a post-mortem showed no signs to suggest the victim had been struck more than once.

Dr Okkers said Mr Kearney had suffered extensive injuries to his brain as well as fractures of his skull which were consistent with “an accelerated fall to the ground.”

While the deceased’s family questioned injuries to his knuckles that were seen in the hospital, the pathologist said they had healed by the time the post-mortem had been carried out.

The inquest heard Mr Kearney had a moderate level of alcohol in his system which the coroner said would have caused “some impairment.”

The post-mortem found he died as a result of traumatic brain injuries arising from an accelerated fall.

Following the inquest, the victim’s sister, Lorraine Kearney, said her family were still troubled by the circumstances of how their brother died.

“We’re happy with the outcome of the inquest but not with the outcome of what happened at the criminal court,” said Ms Kearney.