The Garda Superintendent who headed the investigation into the murder of Nadine Lott has said it was "very important" to remember that the person "at the very centre of this trial was Nadine" and not the perpetrator of the crime.

Daniel Murtagh was found guilty today of the murder of his former partner in Co Wicklow in 2019.

Speaking outside the Criminal Courts of Justice, Superintendent Declan McCarthy, from Wicklow Garda Station, said there was never any doubt in officers' minds about Murtagh's intent to kill Nadine that night.

The injuries to Ms Lott were so serious that she never regained consciousness after the attack on 14 December 2019 and died three days later in St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin.

Supt McCarthy said that in his 40 years' of policing he had never encountered "such a level of violence" inflicted on a person.

He said Nadine had made it "very clear" that she wanted no form of relationship with Murtagh and the accused was "clearly deluded" about the status of his relationship with his former partner.

Nadine Lott
Nadine Lott died three days after the attack in December 2019

In a statement outside the Criminal Courts of Justice building this afternoon, the Supt said that gardaí were "very relieved" that Murtagh was found guilty of Ms Lott's murder.

"It was a very important verdict in the context of violence while intoxicated. We are very pleased with the verdict, we are very grateful to the jury who clearly deliberated very carefully over the matter.

"Our thanks to the prosecution team, they did a fantastic job for us because it was a very difficult and harrowing case to be dealing with. The investigation team were particularly diligent in their work in this case. Again, they all became very emotionally involved, it was a very difficult and harrowing case given the nature of it," he said.

Supt McCarthy said it was very important to remember that the person "at the very centre of this trial was Nadine".

Nadine Lott family
Nadine Lott's family and friends stood outside court wearing masks with her name printed on them

"I would be particularly thankful to the first responders, the three paramedics and Garda Linda Butler and Garda Ben Silverlock, without whose intervention the family wouldn't have had the opportunity to say their farewells to Nadine in the dignity of a hospital rather than such a violent crime scene," he said.

Furthermore, he said he was very grateful to Detective Inspector Sorcha Fitzpatrick, who led the investigation team which resulted in "such an excellent result" for Nadine and her family today. "Our thoughts would be particularly with Nadine's family," he added.

He said the Lott family felt "very relieved" as they were "very worried" that a verdict of manslaughter could have been returned in the case.

"It was on the agenda, it was always a possibility and clearly the jury felt that the level of violence that was used overruled any form of other doubts about what the intent was in this case," he said.

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Referring to Murtagh's intent that night, he said: "Intent was very clear from our point of view from the very start in relation to this."

The officer called the violence perpetrated on Nadine "horrendous" and said he did not think in his 40 years' of policing that he had ever seen or read of such a level of violence used towards an individual.

"There was never any doubt in our minds from the very start about the intent here and the intent was to kill Nadine," he added.

After the verdict today around 30 family members and friends of Nadine, wearing black face-masks with 'Nadine' written in pink on the front, had paused in silence, hand-in-hand outside the building for the assembled photographers.