Eddie Meenan’s family ‘disgusted’ by jail sentences handed to three killers

Eddie Meenan’s brother has spoken of his family’s ‘bitter disappointment’ over sentences handed out to those responsible for his brutal killing three-and-a-half years ago.

Terry Meenan told the ‘Journal’ it sends out the wrong message to those who would pick up a weapon and inflict harm on another human being. He was speaking after three men were handed jail sentences for the killing.

“I am bitterly disappointed with the sentences this week. It’s absolutely disgraceful,” he told the ‘Journal’.

The father-of-nine was aged 52 when he was brutally attacked at Thundering Down between Creggan Street and Bull Park on November 25, 2018. He sustained 52 stab wounds, 100 signs of assault and two broken legs, in one of the worst murders ever recorded in the city.

The late Eddie Meenan

Sean Rodgers (34), of no fixed abode, was found guilty of the murder of Mr. Meenan following a trial while Derek Creswell (30), originally from Derry, pleaded guilty to murder during the trial. Ryan Walters (23), from Crossgar, was found guilty of the manslaughter of Mr. Meenan.

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Creswell was sentenced to life imprisonment, and will serve a minimum of 15 years. Also running concurrent to this, he was sentenced to three years for perverting the course of justice and three years for assault.

Walters was sentenced to eight years for manslaughter - half to be served in custody and half on licence.

Aoife Meenan, left, daughter of Edward Meenan, his mother Nancy and sister Tanya. Photo: George Sweeney. DER2211GS – 047

Speaking after the sentencing Terry said he did not believe the tariffs were long enough.

“I saw my brother’s body. Nobody else saw it, only me and a cousin of mine.

“I know the damage that they caused. It was basically a slap on the hand.

“I’m bitterly disappointed. My mother’s disgusted. The whole family is disgusted.”

‘Verdict I wanted’ says Eddie Meenan’s motherTerry told the ’Journal’ the sentences do not send out the right signal to those willing to pick up a weapon and use it against another person.

“What message does this send out about knife crime? It’s not sending out a clear message.

“There should be totally zero tolerance for anybody carrying a knife or who goes out to inflict serious harm on another human being.

“They deserve an appropriate jail sentence,” said Terry.

Mr. Meenan said his family - particularly his mother Nancy - have been left utterly heartbroken by the loss of Eddie.

Terry credits Eddie with having saved his life by insisting that he attend hospital to get a heart issue checked out the week the latter died.

“I had a heart attack and got a stent put in on the Wednesday.

“It was Eddie, God rest him, who made me go to hospital. I got out on the Thursday and Eddie was murdered on the Saturday,” he said.

His brother will never forgive those who took his life that night.

“Do you see their apologies? They rang hollow.

“Rodgers, when he was found guilty, gave the finger to the family, turned around and actually gave the finger to the family.

“What sort of human being does that?” he asked.