A 43-year-old man has been sentenced to life in prison for murdering a man in a pub in Limerick city.
Mark Crawford, from Quarry Road, Thomondgate, Limerick, stabbed 24-year-old Patrick 'Pa' O’Connor six times in July 2018.
Pa O’Connor and the accused Mark Crawford had been drinking together in a quiet pub on the outskirts of Limerick city.
They had been taking cocaine and a row broke out over payment and Mark Crawford stabbed Mr O’Connor six times.
The accused claimed it was self-defence and said Pa was his friend – but his family denied this and said they’d only known each other less than 48 hours.
The jury convicted him unanimously of murder.
The victim’s sister said she would give anything for just one more ordinary day with her brother watching TV and discussing work.
Speaking outside court, Deborah O’Connor said it was hard looking at her brother’s final moments on CCTV.
“We saw Patrick just a few moments, you know on camera, before this happened dancing, messing with people he knew in the bar,”
“Just to feel like within the space of ten minutes to go back to where he was sitting and for that to happen, it just doesn’t make any sense.”
She said the trial has been “incredibly distressing and difficult time for our family.”
Judge Tara Burns described the murder as an act of madness fuelled by alcohol, cocaine and knives.
She said too many deaths in Ireland are resulting from this combination and something has to be done about it.
*Reporting by Stephanie Rohan