Gardaí have renewed their appeal for information in relation to the death of a 49-year-old man who died in hospital 10 days after he suffered catastrophic head injuries in a “one punch” assault.
he life support machine that was keeping father-of-three Jason Kearney alive was turned off at the Mater Hospital on Saturday, September 12.
He had been in a critical condition at the facility since he was brought there by ambulance after banging his head on the ground when he received a punch at a property in Seville Place in the capital’s north inner city at 2.50am on Wednesday, September 2.
Independent.ie previously revealed that the man who punched him called emergency services including an ambulance to the scene and has co-operated fully with the garda investigation.
Officers are satisfied that he punched Mr Kearney after he was awoken from his sleep and believed that a burglary was taking place at his home.
The householder has not been arrested but has been interviewed by gardai where he gave a full account of the tragic early morning events.
“It was completely random and is very tragic,” a senior source told the Herald.
“The householder, who has never come to the attention of gardaí before, believed the victim was attempting to break into his property and he was defending his property.
“This was one punch that has had catastrophic consequences.
“The householder called the emergency services and ensured that he was brought to hospital,” the source added.
Sources said that it “quickly became apparent” that when Mr Kearney who was originally from Dundalk, Co Louth, was assessed by medical staff it was determined that it was “highly unlikely” he would survive the head injuries.
Yesterday gardaí in Store Street Station renewed their appeal for information in the case which is being investigated as a suspected manslaughter.
“An investigation into the incident and all of the circumstances surrounding the death of the man is continuing. No arrests have been made in the case to date but Gardaí are following a definite line of enquiry,” a garda spokeswoman said.
“Investigating gardaí are renewing their appeal to anyone who may have witnessed this incident to come forward, in particular any persons who were in the Portland Row, Empress Place and Dunne Street areas of Dublin 1 between 1.45am- 2.45am on Wednesday the 2nd September 2020.
“They are also appealing to any road users who may have camera footage (including dash-cam) from the area at the time to make it available to them.
“Anyone with any information is asked to contact the incident room at Store Street Garda Station on 01 666 8000, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station,” she explained.
Mr Kearney who had also lived in Tallaght in recent years had major problems with alcohol and drug abuse.
In 2017, Tallaght District Court heard that Jason Kearney had 30 previous convictions, including one for dangerous driving causing death in a high profile case where he was later sued.
In the 2017 case, the court heard that Kearney was found driving while disqualified after he was involved in a minor traffic accident. Kearney had had one pint and was over the drink-driving limit.
Judge John Lindsay disqualified Kearney from driving for 15 years and ordered him to complete 240 hours of community service in lieu of three months in prison.
He admitted drink-driving as well as driving without insurance or a driving licence on the N81 in Tallaght last November 20.
In 2012, Kearney was given a one and a half year jail sentence for his part in an armed robbery at a local bookmakers after which gardai arrested the raiders almost straight away.
He had pleaded guilty at Dundalk Circuit Court to robbery and possession of a firearm with intent to cause injury at Blue Diamond Bookmakers, Barrack Street on March 30 2011.
Source: Irish News