Updated: 03/03/17 : 05:33:15
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RTÉ 'Liveline' recalls 1987 knife slaying in Sligo

A SLIGO town slaying thirty years ago was recalled on national radio this week.

The brother of the dead man told broadcaster Joe Duffy of the unending grief caused to his family.

Declan Fox told RTÉ's Livelive he had ''just served the first thirty years of a life sentence.''

Last weekend's killing of a 90 year old man in Waterford brought back the death of Fox's own brother.

''Things don't seem to have improved much in the last thirty years,'' he told 'Liveline' listeners.

''I just want to highlight it -- when people go out to enjoy themselves, please don't act in the manner they're acting.

''It's becoming an epidemic here in our little country,'' said the speaker.

John Fox was stabbed to death in Sligo town on March 1st 1987.

A farm manager, he had come up to Sligo town to visit a student friend for a weekend.

Nightclub Visit

''They were walking home from a nightclub late that Saturday night,'' RTÉ listeners heard.

The attack happened ''because of their unusual accents, because they were from North Tipperary,'' recalled Declan Fox.

His brother's assault was ''unprovoked and he was stabbed in the back by the perpetrator.''

Never Apologised

The individual, Richard Kelly was carrying a hunting knife on a Saturday night, and served to six years in prison for manslaughter, radio listeners heard.

''I don't want to give him much air because he has never come to our family to apologised for his actions.

''So I presume he's quite quite happy and thinks he has paid his dues to Society,'' said Declan Fox.

Joe Duffy: ''You say your family has suffered?''

Declan Fox: ''Joe, we've all been murdered; we were just a lovely family.

''There were seven of us. We chatted together, we played football together, we chased women together.

''He just murdered the whole lot of us that night. That's thirty years.

Joe Duffy: ''And the affect on your family since?''

Declan Fox: ''It's massive Joe; we live In a void. The 'elephant in the room' is never spoke about because it's too raw.

''We can't talk about it, which is fairly genuine'' -- but the speaker added that counselling is a fabulous idea.

''But,'' continued Declan Fox: ''You don't get over these things, you know. It's a world where I wouldn't like anybody else to be living.''

Two Liner

Declan Fox described his mother as ''a very strong woman;'' now involved in an advocacy campaign for victims of crime.

She is involved in a current campaign seeking 25 years sentences for those involved with murders.

Said Fox on RTÉ: ''That's not so bad because I'm after spending thirty years.''

Joe Duffy: ''You know the argument -- that does not bring your John back?''

Declan Fox: ''Absolutely, but you have to pay a debt to Society.

''Life is so disposable, like rubber gloves. You kill someone and it's the offender that has all the paper, all the newsworthiness.

''The 'craythur' that's been murdered is a two-liner. We're three day wonders: We die, we're waked and we're buried and then the family live with the rest.

Joe Duffy: ''This man who killed your brother was eighteen at the time.

''He served six years, so he got a longer sentence. That means he was out when he was 23 or 24.

''Ironically, your brother John was 23 when he was killed, so he was out before he was your brother's age effectively.''

Obliterated Generation

Declan Fox: ''But the thing is he didn't just kill my brother. He killed my brother's life.

''My brother was going out with a girl at the time, they could've got married, could've had kids. 

''He obliterated another generation of people that could've been in the world.''

The killing, he said, was ''final: You've killed a whole generation.''

Declan Fox told RTÉ listeners how he had come to Sligo and walked the route of his brother's death.

It was a five minute trip from where he was killed -- on the way to Cartron -- up to the Hospital.

But it took the ambulance ''an hour'' to get there because those involved in the attack ''wouldn't allow the ambulance men to treat him.''

Some people charged along with the attacker were acquitted, Joe Duffy recalled for listeners.

Added Declan Fox: ''There was seven in my family and my Mum and Dad. That's nine and he has killed all of us. 

''My children suffer because they hate this time of year, they hate the 1st of March because they know it's their uncle's anniversary..... it's come that distance and it's never-ending.

The full interview can be heard on a podcast of the 'Liveline' show of Wednesday March 1st, first item.

Link: http://www.rte.ie/radio1/liveline/programmes/2017/0301/856449-liveline-wednesday-1-march-2017/?clipid=2417013#2417013