The family of a well-known Galway athlete says it will haunt them forever to know that someone they’ve known since they were children killed him.
68-year-old Noel Lenihan stabbed Christopher McGrath to death at his home on Cardinal Cushing Road in Mervue, Galway city.
Noel Lenihan claimed he was acting in self-defense when he stabbed 38-year-old Christy McGrath in the early hours of March 12th 2016.
He told Gardaí he armed himself with a steak knife during a struggle, during which he claimed Christy was on his back choking him.
A post-mortem revealed he was stabbed five times. A blood drop found on his shoe suggested he was facing him when it fell from a height.
The court heard Lenihan was a friend of the family and had known Christy since he was a boy.
He told Gardaí they kissed when Christy was 14 or 15 and they entered a sexual relationship when he became an adult.
Christy was in and out of homelessness and used to stay with Lenihan from time to time.
His sister Jessica placed a framed photo of him in the witness box facing the dock as she read out her victim impact statement.
She described him as a “loving, kind and inspirational” person who protected her and their brother, as well as his half siblings during a difficult upbringing.
Lenihan will be sentenced for manslaughter in two weeks time.
Reporting by Frank Greaney