Teenager found guilty of manslaughter of Matt O’Neill (29)

Jury in Cork took almost 15 hours to reach a majority 11-1 verdict to acquit Jordan Deasy of murder but convict him of lesser charge

A teenager has been found guilty of the manslaughter of Matt O’Neill (29) who died 11 days after he was assaulted near his home in Carrigaline, Co Cork.

The jury at the Central Criminal Court in Cork took almost 15 hours to reach a majority 11-1 verdict to acquit Jordan Deasy of the murder but find him guilty of the manslaughter of Mr at Glenwood Estate, Carrigaline, Co Cork on December 28th 2022.

But the jury of six men and six women failed to reach a verdict in the case of Deasy’s co-accused Ricardo Hoey (21) after deliberating for 17 hours and 44 minutes, and Ms Justice Siobhan Lankford sent them home to resume their deliberations on Monday on the murder charge against Mr Hoey.

Both Mr Hoey of Ardcarrig, Carrigaline, Co Cork and Mr Deasy of Ravensdale, Heron’s Wood had denied the murder of Mr O’Neill at Glenwood Estate, Carrigaline on December 28th, 2022.


During the 13 -day trial at the Criminal Courts of Justice on Anglesea Street in Cork, the jury heard evidence from 36 witnesses including John McGovern who was walking through the estate at about 7.30pm when he came upon Mr O’Neill on the ground in front of a car and two men over him.

Mr McGovern said the demeanour of the two men changed when he said he was calling the gardaí and emergency services as if it had dawned on them how Mr O’Neill, who had cuts to his left temple, right ear and right hand, had come to be on the ground and they left the scene.

Orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Eoin Sheehan told how he was visiting his parents in Carrigaline at the time when he came upon Mr O’Neill who was unconscious on the ground, lying on his back with his arms and legs splayed with blood visible on his teeth and from the back of his head.

“My initial thoughts were that he could have been knocked down or he could have fallen over or he could have been assaulted, pushed over and fallen. It was very hard to say in the heat of the moment in the middle of the road – he was pretty critically injured.

Dr Sheehan, who was with Mr O’Neill for an hour before and after paramedics arrived during which time his condition deteriorated, agreed with defence counsels, Tom Creed SC and Brendan Grehan SC that Mr O’Neill’s head injury could have resulted from his head hitting the ground.

The jury also heard evidence that Mr O’Neill was involved in another incident on Christmas Eve – some four days earlier and witness, Brian Coniry told how he was driving by the community centre in Carrigaline when he spotted a melee in the middle of the road and he intervened.

“There was a guy in the middle of the road with a guy in front of him and a guy behind him and they were digging him. I got out and roared at them to get off him. One guy was kneeling down, and they were throwing digs into his head,” he said.

He dropped Mr O’Neill back home.

Mr Conniry’s wife, Pamela told gardaí in a statement that “this was a full-on attack on a defenceless male” and that Mr O’Neill was not able to get up off the ground on his own and only did so with the assistance of her husband.

The jury also heard evidence from three young man involved in this December 24th 2022 incident and they variously stated that it was nothing more than a scuffle.

Mr O’Neill’s GP, Dr Eimear McCarthy said that Mr O’Neill suffered generalised anxiety disorder and had a long history of addiction and substance misuse.

Det Garda Ian Breen gave evidence of memos of Garda interviews with Jordan Deasy, who was arrested at a flat in Crosshaven on New Year’s Eve, 2022. Jordan Deasy said he was a passenger and Ricardo Hoey was driving his car.

“Me and Ricardo were driving in Glenwood. He [the late Matt O’Neill] was standing in front of the car. He would not get out of the way of the car. He wouldn’t move. We were telling him to move. He was waving his bottle.

“Ricardo was beeping him first. He was swinging a bottle around by the windscreen. Ricardo pushed him. I hit him. He fell to the floor. Ricardo kicked him. I hit him when he was on the floor again. We got back in the car.”

He told gardaí that he did not mean “to put the feen (man) in a coma – he was walking towards me with the bottle, I hit him before he hit me”.

Memos of an interview with Ricardo Hoey were put in evidence earlier, where he stated he pushed the deceased once and kicked him once when he was on the ground.

Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster carried out an autopsy on January 9th, 2023, and said Mr O’Neill’s fatal injuries resulted from blunt force trauma to the head, “which was consistent with a combination of blows and a fall.”

However, defence witness, pathologist Prof Jack Crane testified that if Mr O’Neill had suffered a small subdural haematoma from the earlier assault on Christmas Eve, he may not have shown any significant symptoms as there was what is described as “a lucid interval” before symptoms emerge.

Prosecution senior counsel, Jane Hyland SC, put it to Prof Crane that Dr Bolster’s finding was that the December 28th incident caused Mr O’Neill and he agreed that the second assault by the two defendants was a substantial contribution to his death.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times