A Co Limerick man has been sentenced to four concurrent life sentences for the murders of his former partner, their daughter, his ex-partner's son and her friend.

John Geary of Meadow Court, Newcastle West, Co Limerick admitted killing Sarah Hines, their daughter Amy, Ms Hines's son Reece and her friend Alicia Brough.

The victims' bodies were found at a house in Hazelgrove, Co Limerick in 2010. All four had been stabbed to death.

Geary was arrested and charged with their murders the following day.

The court heard that the murders were exceptionally violent.

Detective Inspector Eamon O'Neill told the court Neary had used up to five weapons, including two knives and a screwdriver.

The court heard the two women had tried to defend themselves, but Ms Hines would have died quickly due wounds to her lungs. In all, she had 21 wounds.

Ms Brough would have been capable of voluntary movement for a short time, but would also have succumbed to her wounds quickly.

The families of both women gave victim impact statements.

Ms Brough's mother, Maria Dempsey, said she had almost lost one child to cancer and to lose one like this caused her great depression and anxiety.

She was pregnant when her daughter died and she had to seek help through psychotherapy, and was not able to be the parent she wanted to be to her other children.

Ms Dempsey said they received her daughter's ashes on what would have been her 21st birthday.

The family of Ms Hines said she was the glue that held their family together, and the only daughter and sister.

Her murder and the murders of Reece and Amy had devastated their family and left a void that could never be filled.