Man jailed over fatal assault on homeless man in Cork

Sister of the late Vincent Morgain says she hopes Daniel O’Sullivan can be rehabilitated

A relative of a homeless french man who died last year after being assaulted in Cork city has said she hopes his attacker can rehabilitate himself and ‘make good of his life’.

A relative of a homeless french man who died last year after being assaulted in Cork city has said she hopes his attacker can rehabilitate himself and ‘make good of his life’.

 

A relative of a homeless french man who died last year after being assaulted in Cork city has said she hopes his attacker can rehabilitate himself and “make good of his life”.

Marie Thomas said she hoped Daniel O’Sullivan (22) would show remorse and help others after Judge Sean Ó Donnabhain suspended the last three years of an eight years sentence imposed for the manslaughter of her brother, Vincent Morgain (34).

“I am happy with the sentence - he got the sentence that he deserved and rightly so but it is not the sentence which preoccupies me most - I am just pleased that there is an order for Daniel O’Sullivan to be rehabilitated and make good of his life,” Ms Thomas said through an interpreter.

“I hope that Daniel avails of the services in Cork Prison because I really want him to show real remorse for what happened and for him to get back in life and maybe help others. What has happened has happened -I have lost my brother but let Daniel now get his life back in order.”

Ms Thomas was speaking outside Cork Circuit Criminal Court where O’Sullivan from Carrowkeel in Mallow pleaded guilty to unlawfully killing Mr Morgain from Pontivy in Brittany at Lower Oliver Plunkett St in Cork on September 10th last.

Sleeping rough

Sgt David Callaghan told the court Mr Morgain had first come to Ireland when he was 18 and worked for 10 years as a chef in hotels in Killarney. He moved to Cork about a year before his death and had been sleeping rough in the city.

On the day in question, he was drinking with a female companion at the back of Jury’s Inn at about 2pm when they were approached by O’Sullivan and two other men, one of whom grabbed a bottle the woman was drinking.

O’Sullivan punched Mr Morgain into the head and he fell to the ground, striking his head off the roadway. As Mr Morgain tried to get to his feet, O’Sullivan kicked him in the head which again cause dhis head to hit the ground.

Mr Morgain was taken to the Mercy University Hospital where he was conscious and alert but the next day, he began to lapse into unconsciousness and died on September 15th last from traumatic brain injury following a fall with complications due to liver disease and low platelets.

O’Sullivan, who has 21 previous convictions, was arrested on September 17th and admitted to striking Mr Morgain. He became upset during the interview and expressed deep remorse for what had happened, said Sgt Callaghan.

The court heard O’Sullivan became addicted to alcohol and cannabis as a teenager and fell in with the wrong crowd while attending an addiction treatment centre in Waterford. He was drinking heavily and living rough in Cork at the time of the assault.

Regret

Ms Thomas and Mr Morgain’s mother, Lilliane, spoke of their sense of loss over the death of their brother and son and their great regret that he had not felt able to accept their offer of help to return to France when he fell on hard times in Cork and began drinking.

Judge Ó Donnabhain said given that frequency with which drink related assault cases were coming before the court, it was almost inevitable one would end in tragedy and he sympathised with the family of Mr Morgain on their loss.

“Your loss is deep, human and genuine and while Vincent Morgain had his own troubles in life, he was an entirely innocent party in this serious assault,” said Judge O Donnabhain. He said O’Sullivan’s kick to the head as Mr Morgain struggled to get to his feet was an aggravating factor.

He said O’Sullivan’s plea was of significance, as was his youth, and he sentenced him to eight years in jail but suspended the final three years on condition he work with rehabilitation services upon his release from jail.