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Man given life sentence for murder of Tralee woman

Published 22/02/2007

A man accused of killing Tralee woman Roseanne Lonergan in Belfast has been sentenced to life in prison.

Joseph Patrick Doherty changed his plea during the murder trial and admitted the killing.

Her body was found by police in a first floor flat off the Antrim road in Belfast in January 2005.

Joseph Patrick Doherty's solicitor had told the court that in the days prior to the murder he'd been drinking constantly, had eaten nothing, had been arrested and was in wretched physical and emotional state.

Judge Charles Morgan commented that it was clear that the attack was pursued at several locations within the flat and the use of a metal bar to kill the deceased indicated the intention to inflict grievous injury.

Roseanne Lonergan had lived in Belfast for ten years but was originally from Tralee.

The mandatory life sentence was handed down to Mr Doherty; in Northern Ireland a life sentence is twenty years, but a prisoner is eligible for parole after ten years.

In the case of Joseph Patrick Doherty, Judge Morgan ordered he serve thirteen years before applying for parole.

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