A 27-year-old Portuguese man has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of a 24-year-old trainee hotel manager in Limerick last year.

Paulo Nascimento pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to the murder of Grainne Dillon at Jury's Inn Hotel in Limerick on 5 January 2002.

Grainne Dillon, from Glounthaune, Co Cork, was working as a trainee manager at the Jury's Inn Hotel.

During the early hours of 5 January 2002, she was on duty with night porter Paulo Nascimento. They were the only two staff on overnight duty in the hotel.

The court heard that Nascimento was unhappy in Ireland and wanted to return to Portugal. Garda Inspector John Scanlon from Limerick told the court Nascimento planned to steal cash from the hotel to fund his journey home.

He said Nascimento took a stolen shotgun to work. The court heard evidence that after robbing €3,000 from the hotel safe, Nascimento ordered Grainne into the kitchen and opened fire.

She slumped into a chair in the storeroom and Nascimento reloaded the weapon and opened fire a second time.

After taking the security videotape from the CCTV system he went back and shot Grainne a third time.

Nascimento later turned himself in to Gardaí. He pleaded guilty to the murder today in court.

In emotional evidence to the court Aoife Dillon, Grainne's sister, said she was an innocent victim.

Mr Justice Barry White sentenced Nascimento to life in prison.

He sympathised with the family of the victim and described the killing as a vicious, brutal and callous murder.

Afterwards the Dillon family said they were pleased with the verdict but that their lives had been destroyed.