The Minister for Justice Alan Shatter TD has deferred the transfer to the Czech Republic of Sharon Coughlan’s killer, David Brozovsky (24), following a meeting with Ms Coughlan’s mother and sisters at Longford County Council headquarters this week.
Mr Brozovsky was convicted of raping and murdering Ms Coughlan (37) at a house in Longford town in September 2007 and subsequently sentenced to life in prison upon conviction. He was also sentenced to 13 years for raping the Longford woman, however, at the time both sentences were handed down concurrently.
Last week, it emerged that the Czech national had sought a transfer to his native homeland so that he could serve out his sentence at a prison in closer proximity to his family. The Coughlan family had not been informed of the proposal nor were they made aware that the Minister for Justice had seriously considered the possibility.
However, following a backlash to the decision, Minister Shatter – who was in Longford on Monday to officially hand over Connolly Barracks to the local authorities – agreed to meet with the Coughlan family to hear their concerns and to determine an appropriate course of action in respect of the matter.
Following the meeting, the family’s solicitor Ms Lorna Groarke told the waiting media, that “the Minister met with the family today and has decided to defer the transfer of Mr Brozovsky”.
Ms Groarke went on to say, “No further decisions will be taken by the Minister until the family is ready to speak with him and they will now reflect on the information here today.”
Following an hour-long meeting with Minister Shatter, Ms Coughlan’s mother Bríd and her sisters Caran, Orla and Brenda stood side by side as their solicitor read the statement. Across the road about fifty people had gathered in protest at the transfer, many holding placards in condemnation of the proposal.
“Sharon’s family would like to thank you all for your unstinting support since her death,” Ms Groarke explained. “They would also like to thank the Minister for Justice for meeting with them today. Mr Brozovsky had applied for a transfer back to his home of the Czech Republic and the lack of information caused upset to Sharon’s family. The Minister met with them today and he has decided to defer the transfer. The family will be in touch with the Minister.
Sharon Coughlan was the mother of two small children at the time of her death in 2007. They are now in the care of Sharon’s sister Caran. During their victim impact statement after the trail, the Coughlan family said that Sharon’s son cried on his fifth birthday – which was just one month after his mother’s murder - “Oh mum I’m five now and you missed my birthday”.