What to do if you have been accused of Murder or Manslaughter
- If you or a relative have been accused of Murder or Manslaughter contact our 24 hour mobile telephone number immediately.
- Do not answer any questions in the absence of legal advice.
- Your are entitled to legal representation of your choosing. Do not settle for a legal representative advised by the Gardai.
- If you have been assigned a solicitor already, you have the right to seek a second opinion.
- CALL PHELIM O'NEILL IMMEDIATELY 0868386296
Current law on murder and involuntary manslaughter.
The law of homicide in Ireland is currently divided into murder and manslaughter. Murder occurs if a person intended to kill, or cause serious injury to, another person who dies as a result. Murder convictions can include situations where a killing was planned in advance; where the victim was knowingly shot; and where the accused is aware that the natural consequences of their actions would lead to death. For example, in The People (DPP) v John Cullen (1982), the accused was convicted of murder after he had thrown a fire bomb through the window of a house and where three women in the house died in the resulting blaze.
Manslaughter is an unlawful killing that is not murder and currently consists of two categories, voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter. Voluntary manslaughter deals with what would otherwise be murder but where there is some excusing circumstance - such as provocation - which reduces the offence from murder to manslaughter. The Commission is examining on voluntary manslaughter in a separate project on defences in criminal law, so the Report being published today deals with murder and involuntary manslaughter.
Involuntary manslaughter currently comprises two sub-categories. First, manslaughter by an unlawful and dangerous act, where the killing involves an act constituting a criminal offence, carrying with it the risk of bodily harm to the person killed. The People (DPP) v Wayne O’Donoghue (2005), which involved an assault resulting in death, was a conviction for unlawful and dangerous act manslaughter. The second sub-category is gross negligence manslaughter, where the death arises from a negligent act or omission by the accused involving a high risk of substantial personal injury. In The People (DPP) v Cullagh (1998) the accused was convicted of gross negligence manslaughter after a woman died when her chair became detached from a 20-year-old chairoplane ride at the accused’s funfair. He had bought the chairoplane after it had been in an open field for 3 years. Although the accused only became aware after the death that there was rust on the inside of the chairoplane which had caused the accident, he was aware of its generally decrepit state when he bought it.
|Number 5 of 1964.|
|CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT, 1964|
|AN ACT TO AMEND THE LAW AS TO THE IMPOSITION OF THE DEATH PENALTY AND AS TO MALICE IN THE CASE OF MURDER. [25th March, 1964.]|
|BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:—|
|Treason Act, 1939 ;|
|section 6 , 7 , 8 or 9 of the Offences Against the State Act, 1939 , or in the course or furtherance of the activities of an unlawful organisation within the meaning of section 18 (other than paragraph (f)) of that Act, or|
|section 124 , 125 , 127 or 128 of the Defence Act, 1954 .|
|section 7 of the Offences Against the State (Amendment) Act, 1940 , any military prison or detention barrack for which rules may be made under section 233 of the Defence Act, 1954 , and any internment camp for which regulations may be made under section 2 of the Prisoners of War and Enemy Aliens Act, 1956 ;|
|Criminal Justice Act, 1960 .|
|Sections 1 , 2 and 3 of the Offences Against the Person Act, 1861 (which relate to conviction and sentence for murder) are hereby amended by the substitution, for “murder”, of “capital murder”.|
|Piracy Act, 1837 , is hereby amended by the deletion—|
|Section 63 of the Juries Act, 1927 (which relates to the separation of jurors during trials) is hereby amended by the substitution in subsections (1) and (2), for “murder”, of “capital murder”.|
|section 1 of the Treason Act, 1939 (which relates to the form of trial for treason) is hereby amended by the substitution, for “murder”, of “capital murder”.|
|Section 169 of the Defence Act, 1954 (which relates to the trial of certain civil offences by court-martial) is hereby amended by the deletion of paragraph (b) and the substitution of the following paragraph:|
|Section 3 of the Geneva Conventions Act, 1962 (which relates to grave breaches of the Conventions scheduled to that Act) is hereby amended by the deletion, in paragraph (i) of subsection (1), of “death or to”.|
|Criminal Justice Act, 1964 .|