September 27, 2023

Man admits manslaughter of talented young Kilkenny musician

A MAN has admitted the manslaughter of a talented young Kilkenny musician last summer.

Craig McGrath (25) pleaded guilty before Waterford Circuit Criminal Court to the manslaughter contrary to common law of Damien O’Brien (27) on July 7 last.

Mr O’Brien, who was from Kilmacow, was a talented musician and a hugely popular figure within the entertainment industry in the South East. He was the keyboard player with the up-and-coming Waterford band Chimpanbee.

Mr O’Brien (pictured above) sustained serious head injuries in an attack at the junction of John Street and The Manor in Waterford as he walked home in the early hours of July 7 2018.

He was initially treated at University Hospital Waterford (UHW) where his condition was critical. He was then transferred to the special head trauma unit at Cork University Hospital (CUH), however the young musician died on July 13 after several days on a life support machine.

Craig McGrath, of Rathfadden Park, Waterford, pleaded guilty before Judge Eugene O’Kelly at Waterford Circuit Criminal Court to the unlawful killing of Mr O’Brien.

The defendant did not address the court beyond confirming his guilty plea.

Judge O’Kelly was told that the defendant is currently liaising with the Probation and Welfare Service (PWS).

McGrath’s defence counsel applied for an adjournment so that a PWS report would be available to the court for sentencing.

“Mr McGrath knows and anticipates he will be receiving a custodial sentence,” the court was told.

Conor O’Doherty BL, for the State, indicated they had no difficulty with an adjournment to facilitate the sentencing hearing.

Judge O’Kelly adjourned the matter until May 24 when McGrath will be sentenced.


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