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Dublin: 22 °C Monday 22 July, 2019

Family of Nicola Collins say she might still be alive had killer been jailed for previous assault

Cathal O’Sullivan was found guilty of her murder earlier this week.

Nicola Collins
Nicola Collins

THE FAMILY OF murder victim Nicola Collins said she might still be alive had her killer been imprisoned for a previous assault on a different woman. 

Nicola’s sister Carly spoke of her pain as she detailed what she described as a “horrendous” four weeks attending court. 

It took the jury just four hours to convict Cathal O’Sullivan of her murder. He was handed the mandatory life sentence. 

Nicola’s body was found in her home in the Popham’s Road area of Farranree in Cork City in early April. 

It emerged after the verdict was handed down that O’Sullivan had received a three year suspended sentence for a very similar crime. The convicted murdered had beaten a woman so badly that it took her three days to be able to leave the house she was in to get help. 

Speaking to Sean O’Rourke on RTÉ Radio One, Carly said: “We weren’t allowed speak about it. We knew of it but didn’t know the extent. It was very upsetting hearing that – everyone became so sad hearing that a poor girl had gone through something similar and that the accused don’t server time. We think how it could have been different if he had got the sentence at that time. You don’t know what went on in the courtroom with the decision making. 

“Of course we think about it. Our hearts also go out to that woman.”

Carly described how her big sister would always make her laugh and that her passing is something which will stay with her forever. But she said she was shocked by the trial and how the defence attempted to turn Nicola into something she wasn’t.

“It’s all very surreal still. We are relieved. We weren’t planning on speaking to the media – it was horrendous how she was portrayed in court. 

“She was turned into a monster. All these crazy things were said about her. She was beautiful, talented. We loved her. We had so much hope for her. That was the hardest part – that hope is gone.

“It was shock. Beyond describable. It’s still shock since that moment. It’s a bad dream.  It would have been easier had he been remorseful and admitted what he did. 

“Everyone just said she was a lovely person. She was lovely. Her sense of humour will be missed. She was the bigger sister – she looked out for me. She always did.”

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