Declan O’Neill sentenced at Belfast Crown Court

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A Belfast man was today (Thursday, 7 November) handed a life sentence, serving a minimum of eight years, at Laganside Crown Court for murdering his mother in 2017.

Declan O’Neill, 29, pleaded guilty last month to murdering his mother, 47 year old Anne O’Neill, in the back garden of her parent’s home in Belfast on 21 October 2017.

Speaking about the sentencing, Detective Inspector Joanne Harris, from the PSNI’s Major Investigation Team, said: “This is a very sad case and first and foremost our sympathies today go to Anne’s daughter and also to Anne’s mother and father and wider family and friends, who continue to come to terms with her death.

“This has been a long, protracted and harrowing case for all concerned.  No matter what the circumstances are that led to the murder of Anne, no-one has the right to take another person’s life. 

“I cannot imagine the distress and suffering Anne’s daughter must be feeling today as she mourns for her mother, whilst also having to come to terms with the fact that her brother will be serving eight years in prison for their mother’s murder. My sympathies also go to Anne’s parents who are dealing with the loss of their daughter and their grandson spending years in prison.

“Whilst today’s sentencing will never bring Anne back I hope that it will bring some closure to those who are left behind after what has been a very traumatic two years for all concerned.”