Above: The homestead of the O’Brien Family after the fire, the house will have to be demolished.

An 81-year-old man, Peter Obrien pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of his daughter over two years ago and told a court that he “couldn’t hold back” when he set fire to the family home at Beauparc, Navan

His daughter Sinead Masterson was seriously injured in the blaze, and she subsequently died from her injuries sustained in the fire. Her mother Maureen was also injured.

The sentencing hearing of Peter O’Brien, with an address at St Michael’s, Beauparc, Navan, heard evidence at Trim Circuit Court yesterday.

Victim impact statements were heard and sentencing was adjourned until 7 October’22.

Trim Circuit Court heard how on 19th May 2021 a number of people called the house in Beauparc to extend good wishes to Maureen O’Brien who was celebrating her 80th birthday.

The mother and grandmother had been married to Peter O’Brien for 55 years, but the court heard that although they were living together, they were separated and living entirely separate lives.

During the day the court heard how Ms O’Brien received cards, flowers and balloons from some of her family who had called to the house.

Later in the day, Peter O’Brien arrived in the kitchen. The court heard how he finished his dinner and went to his bedroom with a cup of tea while Ms O’Brien began to prepare her dinner.

The court heard that at around 5.30 pm Mr O’Brien returned to the sitting room where he grabbed all the birthday cards and balloons that Ms O’Brien had received and put them in the bin.

The court heard how Ms O’Brien was very upset by this and she rang her daughter Sinead who lived close by.

The court heard Ms Masterson went up to the house and speak with her father.

The court heard evidence that Ms Masterson told her father that he had no right to have done what he had done.

Trim Circuit Court heard that she retrieved the cards and put them back on the mantelpiece.

The court heard Ms Masterson and her mother were sitting on the couch in the sitting room when Mr O’Brien lifted a bucket and threw it at the stove fire in the room.

Detective Garda Kathryn Christie told the court that there were instant flames in the room.

The court heard evidence that Maureen O’Brien had to crawl out of the room on her hands and knees while Mr O’Brien fled the scene

Ms Masterson also managed to escape but was seriously injured.

The mother of two was taken to the burns unit of St James’s Hospital for treatment.

She remained in the hospital but died on 16 December 2021.

The court heard she underwent ten procedures over seven months.

Trim Circuit Court heard how Ms Masterson “fought very hard” and was determined to get home for Christmas with her family.

Detective Garda Catherine Christie told the court that much of Ms Masterson’s fight was on her own because of the Covid regulations in place at the time.

The local community was stunned by the attack and the tragic outcome for the family.