Inquest into death of Cork stabbing victim


A teenage girl died after being stabbed in the heart by an intruder who went on to wound her a further 10 times in a frenzied knife attack, Cork Coroner's Court heard yesterday.

Nicola Sweeney (19) was preparing for a night out with her friend, Sinead O'Leary, on April 27th last year when the attack occurred at her home in Rochestown on the outskirts of Cork city.

Inside the house, the intruder knocked Ms O'Leary to the floor and stabbed her repeatedly. She managed to escape and locked herself in a downstairs bathroom.

A short time afterwards she went upstairs and found Nicola Sweeney unconscious on the floor with stab wounds all over her body. She made a 999 call to alert the gardaí, who arrived at the house within minutes. However, Ms Sweeney was pronounced dead at the scene and a murder investigation was initiated.

The State Pathologist, Dr John Harbison, told the court that Nicola Sweeney's death had been caused by haemothorax or bleeding within the chest as a result of a single stab wound which penetrated the heart.

Dr Harbison said Ms Sweeney's death was unlikely to have been an instant one. However, she probably would have lost consciousness within two to three minutes of being stabbed.

The South Cork Coroner, Mr Frank O'Connell, adjourned the inquest indefinitely and issued a death certificate. He extended his sympathy to the family.

Peter Whelan (20), of Ashgrove, Underwood, Rochestown, Cork, was jailed for life for the murder of Nicola Sweeney last December at the Central Criminal Court.