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Matt O'Neill

Man (21) found guilty of manslaughter of Matt O'Neill in Cork in 2022

Ricardo Hoey was found not guilty of murder, but guilty of manslaughter.

A 21-YEAR-OLD man has been found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter of a 29-year-old man at an estate in Carrigaline, Co Cork in December 2022.

Ricardo Hoey of Ardcarraig in Carrigaline went on trial at a Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork earlier this month charged with the murder of Matt O’Neill on 28 December 2022.

The attack on O’Neill took place in Glenwood Estate in the town as O’Neill was walking back to his home from a petrol station.

He was transferred to Cork University Hospital (CUH) with his injuries and lapsed in to a coma. However, he never regained consciousness and died in hospital 11 days later.

The jury of six women and six men recorded a 10-2 majority verdict at lunchtime today having deliberated for 18 hours and 42 minutes.

Ms Justice Siobhan Lankford thanked the jury for their diligence and attention to detail in the “emotional” trial. She excused them from jury service for a period of 10 years.

Meanwhile, the jury deliberated for 14 hours and 47 minutes before they returned with the same verdict in relation to his co-accused 19-year-old Jordan Deasy of Ravensdale, Heron’s Wood in Carrigaline, Co Cork last Thursday.

Probation and welfare reports are to be created for both men who have been remanded in custody for sentencing at a later date.

Victim impact statements will be read out at the sentencing hearing.

When the trial got underway Prosecution barrister, Jane Hyland, SC said that Matt O’Neill lived at Glenwood Close in Carrigaline with his parents Eileen and Pat.

She said that he loved the outdoors and sports and was an “accomplished swimmer”.

However, she stated that during his teenage years he developed an addiction. She noted that although he had held down various jobs over the years his addiction had “taken over” his life for a year before his death.

Hyland said that on 28 December 2022, O’Neill left his home on foot and went across the road to the garage where he purchased wine. She said that he then started to make his way back home.

Hyland said that a male witness would give evidence to the effect that at 5.35pm he saw an Opel Astra stopped in the middle of the road with both front doors open and two men standing outside the car and a third man lying on the ground.

“(The witness) approached the scene. The two males standing there left the scene after a brief exchange with (the witness.) The man on the ground was bleeding and unconscious.”

A passing medical consultant went to the aid of O’Neill and an ambulance subsequently arrived and transferred him to hospital. Hyland said that O’Neill was placed on life support in hospital.

“He was also operated on without success and died without regaining consciousness on 8 January 2023.”

She then gave an outline of what occurred in Glenwood that night.

“Ricardo Hoey pushed Mr O’Neill who fell to the ground. When Mr O’Neill was on the ground Mr Deasy punched him a number of times. Mr Hoey kicked Mr O’Neill in the head.”

Hyland also stated that jurors would hear that the blood of the victim was allegedly found on one of the socks of Hoey.

She also said that there would be evidence that within an hour of the incident on 28 December 2022 Ricardo Hoey “came to the garda station and subsequently Mr Deasy was brought to the garda station”.


The trial also heard evidence on the cause of death from Dr Margaret Bolster who carried out a postmortem on O’Neill on 9 January 2023.

Dr Bolster said said that she was informed that Matt O’Neill had been treated at the scene on 28 December 2022 by a passing orthopaedic consultant following an alleged assault.

He was removed to Cork University Hospital where he underwent surgery. However, he was placed on life support and never recovered consciousness.

Dr Bolster said that Mr O’Neill was diagnosed with a devastating brain injury on the 7th of January 2023 from which there was no possibility of recovery.

Dr Bolster said that she had been told as background information that O’Neill had been walked along a footpath in Glenwood in on 28 December 2022 when a car stopped alongside him and the driver and front seat passenger got out.

“A verbal altercation escalated to a physical altercation and Mr O’Neill fell backwards. He was kicked in the head.”

Dr Bolster said that the postmortem examination revealed that O’Neill sustained blunt force trauma to the head as a results of blows and a fall. He also had a traumatic axonal brain injury.

Dr Bolster discounted suggestions from the defence that an earlier assault on O’Neill on 24 December involving youths could have left him vulnerable to death. She said that O’Neill walked around for four days after the first incident and showed no sign of illness or distress.

“He was still conscious. He was acting as normal. A subdural haemorrhage normally manifests in 24 hours. He was walking around four days later. The second assaulted resulted in his death.”


Matt O’Neill was born in Brisbane in Australia but moved back to Ireland with his parents Pat and Eileen as a young child.

His father Pat told his funeral mass in Curraheen in Cork in January of last year that Matt was “the body and soul” of his family who have been left absolutely heartbroken by his death.

Pat O’Neill said that their only child was very much loved but all those who knew him.

“During the week, one of Matt’s lovely friends sent us a message and it really said it (all) about Matt. She said Matt was a real sweetheart, he was kind and caring. He was gentle,” he said. 

“Matt was born to Eileen and I in Brisbane (Australia) in 1993…the three of us, almost from the minute he was born, we had a life of so many adventures. Swimming, surfing, kayaking, camping – (being) in the water was Matt’s favourite place,” he added. 

“He ended up saving someone’s life. One afternoon we were surfing in Derrynane in Kerry and six people were in serious trouble in the water,” Matt O’Neill’s father said. 

“Together, Eileen myself and Matt, we pulled the six of them out. But there was one who was in particularly bad way and Matt took specific action going to him in the middle of the panic. Matt was thirteen years old at the time.”

Fr James McSweeney said that Matt O’Neill was “precious, special and unique”. His family requested that mourners at his funeral make a donation to CUH in his memory in lieu of flowers.

Olivia Kelleher