The parents of a young musician who was beaten to death tell how their life has changed forever due to violent crime.
Gavin O’Connor, 22, died after his head was smashed before his car ran over him nine years ago.
The young man was a guitarist with a local classic rock band.
His evil killer Conor McClelland, who was 19 at the time of the murder and did not know Gavin, was sentenced to life in prison for the unprovoked attack.
The monster, from Monaghan, Ireland, crossed Gavin asleep in his car in the early hours of June 4, 2011, in Caricmacros, a town in the county. The two men were attending a music festival in town that night.
Claims to have stolen the car while Gavin was unaware of sleeping in the back seat.
McClelland told the police that after Gavin woke up he hit him repeatedly with stones on the head and when his victim got off the road he drove the car towards him.
Shockingly, he admitted he did this to make the injuries appear as if they were caused by an accident.
McClelland pleaded not guilty at his trial but was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
He’s already had neutral visits to the venue, and will be eligible for his second parole hearing next spring.
Gavin’s grieving parents are calling for implementation of the parole law of 2019 to stop it.
Mother Helena told the Irish Sunday Mirror: “We feel we have a life sentence, and we fear the day Connor McClelland will be released.”
“Our life changed forever when Gavin was killed and the brutality of that will come to the grave with us.”
My father, Jerry, added: “What happened to Gavin is unbearable. It was done by someone without any regard for human life whatsoever.
“He can now lie in jail, get good food and come out in no time, that’s just a mistake. There are evil people in the world, this slave is pure evil.”
Helena insisted McClelland should never be allowed out on what he had done.
“He didn’t even know Gavin. After nine years, we still don’t know what happened to him,” she added.
“Gavin left here Friday night – at first he said he wasn’t going.
“When he was going out, I felt a terrible feeling that he had not come back. I called him and said, ‘A lion is good to me and take care of yourself,’ and he said: Bored.
“It lasted until the next morning when his girlfriend called me.
“The doctor said a dry brain should have three or four different chambers but all it could see was mush.
He said the only reason his heart was still beating was because he was so small.
“After Gavin passed away, I remember thinking, ‘When was the last time I told him that I love him? “
Tragically, the couple lost their second son, Patrick, in a traffic accident just two years later.
However, Gavin’s music is still alive thanks to his father Jerry who gave his equipment a new lease on life with a band created in his memory, called The Reel Beats.