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Jimmy Loughlin, who died after an assault at his home in Sligo town in 2018.
jimmy loughlin

HSE ‘unreservedly apologises’ to family whose son was killed by man with psychiatric condition

‘The HSE should today hand its head in shame,’ a statement from the family said today.

THE HSE has “unreservedly apologised’ the family of 20 year old Jimmy Loughlin, who was killed by a man who was suffering from a psychiatric illness.

The health service today settled an action for damages brough forth by Loughlin’s family.

Jimmy Loughlin was killed by neighbour Richard McLaughlin at his home in Co Sligo on 24 February, 2018.

McLaughlin broke into Jimmy Loughlin’s home and beat him to death with a crowbar.

The Central Criminal Court in 2019 heard that McLaughlin broke down the door of Loughlin’s home and fatally attacked him while suffering from delusions brought on by paranoid schizophrenia.

It also emerged during the trial that a psychiatrist previously had concerns that McLaughlin was at risk of murdering someone due to his delusional beliefs.

In July 2019, McLaughlin was found not guilty of the murder by reason of insanity.

Speaking during this 2019 hearing, the parents of Loughlin said it was “unacceptable” that someone so dangerous and known to mental health services was living just a few doors from their “defenceless” son.

They added that their son has never had any contact with McLaughlin prior to the attack.

Speaking outside the Four Courts in Dublin today after the settlement, Loughlin’s parents Michael and Paula said their lives “ended” on the day Jimmy was killed in 2018.

“To add insult to grievous injury, a coroner’s inquest found that he was unlawfully killed and established shortcomings by the HSE in the management of Jimmy’s assailant,” they added.

The family statement also noted: “The clinical and management team at Sligo/Leitrim mental services have today admitted breaches in the duty of care provided by the HSE and have unreservedly apologised.”

However, they added that “no apology will now bring our son back to his loving family, a son from whom so much was promised and yet everything was taken.

“The HSE should today hang its head in shame.”

The HSE has been approached by The Journal for comment.