We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Matt O’Neill Family photo shared with permission

Man (19) found guilty of manslaughter of Matt O’Neill in Cork in 2022

Jordan Deasy was found not guilty of murder, but guilty of manslaughter.

A 19-YEAR-OLD man has been found not guilty of murder but guilty of the manslaughter of a 29-year-old man at an estate in Carrigaline, Co Cork, in December 2022.

Jordan Deasy, of Ravensdale, Heron’s Wood in Carrigaline, went on trial at a Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork earlier this month charged with the murder of Matt O’Neill at Glenwood estate on 28 December 2022.

The jury of six women and six men deliberated for 14 hours and 47 minutes before they returned with their verdict today. 

They are continuing to deliberate in relation to the case against his co-accused Ricardo Hoey (21), of Ardcarrig, Carrigaline, who was also charged with the murder of Mr O’Neill.

The trial heard that Mr O’Neill was taken to Cork University Hospital with injuries following an incident in Carrigaline on 28 December 2022. He went into a coma and passed away in hospital on 8 January 2023. His liver and kidneys were harvested for donation.

The trial, which was presided over by Ms Justice Siobhan Lankford, heard evidence on the cause of death from Dr Margaret Bolster who carried out a postmortem on Mr O’Neill on 9 January 2023.

Dr Bolster said she was informed that Mr 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 regained consciousness.

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

Brain injury

Dr Bolster said she had been told as background information that Mr O’Neill had been walking along a footpath in Glenwood on 28 December 2022 when a car stopped beside 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 the postmortem examination revealed that Mr O’Neill sustained blunt force trauma to the head as a result 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 Mr O’Neill on 24 December involving youths could have left him vulnerable to death. She said Mr 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 assault resulted in his death,” she said. 

Mr 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 2023 that Matt was “the body and soul” of his family who have been left absolutely heartbroken by his death.

Fr James McSweeney said that Matt was “precious, special and unique”. He was an only child. His family requested that mourners at his funeral make a donation to Cork University Hospital in his memory in lieu of flowers.

Olivia Kelleher