Man wanted to kill sister as she was ‘carrying a Dublin baby’

Kilkenny man Daniel O’Connell has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder in April 2016

A Kilkenny man has gone on trial, charged with attempting to murder his pregnant sister in a case where the jury may find him not guilty by reason of insanity.

Daniel O’Connell (33) with an address at Rosemount, Newpark, Co Kilkenny has pleaded not guilty to the attempted murder of Olivia O’Connell, who was also suffering the effects of chemotherapy at the time.

Mr O’Connell, who is autistic, admitted during Garda interviews that he had stabbed her a number of times on April 25th, 2016 in her home at Scholarstown Park in Knocklyon, Dublin.

He said he had decided to “do away with her” so she would not raise her child in Dublin.


Michael Bowman SC, prosecuting, opened the trial to the Central Criminal Court on Tuesday and explained that Ms O’Connell was 26½ weeks pregnant when her younger brother arrived at her house unexpectedly.

Ms O’Connell, now 42, told gardaí he was almost tearful when he arrived. She knew he had autism and enquired about how he had got to her house. She was suffering from chemotherapy symptoms as a consequence of cancer and was in her dressing gown.

“She was aware of the difficulties he had for quite some time, and of an unnatural and almost pathological dislike of Dublin and Dublin people,” said Mr Bowman, adding that this feeling developed years earlier during a school tour to the city.

‘Latex gloves’

He said the accused went upstairs to use the toilet and Ms O’Connell heard a bang. “He came downstairs, wearing latex gloves,” Mr Bowman said. “He had a knife. He stabbed her three to four times in the back.”

Mr Bowman said that she understood that this was a fight for her life and she struggled to resist her assault. She tried to get out the back door through which her brother had entered, but the key was gone. She then tried to run out the front door.

“He kicked her into the back of the calves,” continued Mr Bowman.

She eventually broke free and ran to a neighbour’s house. He said that the accused was still in the area when gardaí arrived and that he explained his “full motivation and elaborate preparation”.

Garda Niall Russell testified that he saw four puncture wounds on Ms O’Connell’s bleeding back when he arrived on the scene. He told Mr Bowman that she gave him the knife that she had managed to wrestle from her brother.

He asked the defendant what had happened.

“He said he’d tried to kill his sister,” explained Garda Russell. “He said he wanted to kill her because she was carrying a Dublin baby.”

He said the accused also told him that he was suicidal, did not want to be alone in heaven and did not want to leave all his family behind.

When Garda Russell asked about the contents of the bag he was carrying, he replied that he had a roll of duct tape and a hammer in it.

He was still wearing the gloves when he was taken to Rathfarnham Garda station. He said that he was wearing them “to hide fingerprints”.

He identified the claw hammer, which he said was to stun his sister, and the duct tape, which was to stop her screaming as he cut her with the knife. The key to his sister’s back door was found in his pocket.

A doctor was called and the accused was brought to the psychiatric unit of St Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny, where he remained until his arrest three weeks later.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Paul Butler.