A Galway woman found guilty of the manslaughter of her former partner has been sentenced to ten years in prison, with the final three suspended.
Maura Thornton, 31, from Inverin in Connemara stabbed Kevin Joyce 18 times when he appeared uninvited outside her apartment in Salthill, Galway, in July 2011.
Mr Justice Barry White said the Joyce family had been very humane and shown true humanity when they asked the court that Ms Thornton be given a chance to change her life.
However, the judge said the killing was a serious offence which all too frequently comes before the courts where a person resorts to the use of a knife with fatal consequences.
Ms Thornton had been in a relationship with Mr Joyce but after they broke up, he kept phoning her and arriving uninvited at her apartment.
Ms Thornton was back drinking heavily, having been off alcohol for six weeks, when Mr Joyce appeared at her kitchen window.
He had climbed over railings at 10.15pm and climbed on to a flat roof outside the window.
Ms Thornton ran out and stabbed him 18 times. Two of the wounds were fatal.
She called the emergency services but she was so drunk she could not be interviewed and a doctor was called to certify her as unfit.
Michaela Joyce said in a victim impact statement that her father had a kind heart and was a forgiving man.
She said that like her father, she thought Ms Thornton should be given a chance to change the path of her life, heal herself, forgive herself and leave violence behind her.
Mr Justice White said the family had shown true Christianity.
However, he said the killing was a serious offence.
The jury, he said, had been merciful in convicting Ms Thornton of manslaughter, not murder and he too was taking a merciful view.
Mr Justice White pointed to her previous convictions for violence, assault and knife crime as aggravating factors.
While acknowledging her drink problem, the judge said this may offer an explanation for her behaviour but it was not an excuse.
In mitigation, he said she had offered to plead guilty to manslaughter and appeared to show remorse.
The sentence begins today.