A man has been found guilty of murder after he stabbed a talented musician to death at his home in Sligo more than four years ago.

32-year-old Keith Brady, of Cartron Estate, Sligo, had denied murdering Martin 'Matt' Kivlehan on 2 or 3 August 2015 in Mr Kivlehan's home at New Apartments, Holborn St, Sligo.

He remained in the apartment after the death while a knife was placed next to the victim's neck and a duvet put over him to make it look like suicide.

He also phoned a drug dealer so heroin could be brought to the house.

Brady pleaded guilty to manslaughter. It took a jury of eight men and four women just one hour and 25 minutes to find him guilty of murder following a two-week trial at the Central Criminal Court.

It was Brady's third time on trial for the same offence.

Previously a jury could not agree a verdict and a second trial collapsed after an RTÉ Prime Time programme aired opinions that the trial judge said were likely to have influenced the jury.

In a statement to the court today the victim's brother, Christopher Kivlehan, said there are no words to adequately describe what it is like to cope with the violent death of a loved one.

He added: "We are deeply shocked and absolutely appalled at the vicious and most evil manner of his death."

He said ill-health had made his brother an easy target.

The trial heard that the 59-year-old deceased had an accident which damaged his leg and was "grossly intoxicated" at the time of his death. In the months prior to his death he had been drinking heavily and had become weak.

Keith Brady's sentence was backdated to 24 November 2016 when he first entered custody

Mr Kivlehan addressed a line of defence that was used in the previous trials but not in this one. In his previous trials Brady's legal team had argued that he was "provoked" after seeing Mr Kivlehan "touch up" his sister Janice Brady.

Mr Kivlehan said: "To see his beautiful character besmirched in headlines was cruel. We utterly reject and will never believe the suggested version of events that led to his death."

He said Matt lived "at all times with respect for others". He added: "Our dear brother was a gentleman and we have no doubt he was a gentleman to the time of his death."

He was, Mr Kivlehan said, a "pacifist who would go out of his way to avoid confrontation."

The family, he said, have sleepless nights and "can only imagine how frightened he must have felt."

He added: "We will never understand and will not forgive those responsible."

Mr Kivlehan remembered his brother as a man who "shared so much joy, laughter and love through his music, quick wit and kind nature. His life should never have ended the way it did."

Since Matt's death, the family has buried another brother Padraic, who died of a heart attack, Mr Kivlehan said. "We have no doubt stress was a contributing factor in his death," he added.

He concluded: "Whatever sentence is given will be nothing compared to the sentence our family has been given to bear for the rest of our lives."

Two years ago Janice Brady, 29, with a last address at Maryville Hostel, Finisklin, Sligo, pleaded guilty to impeding the apprehension or prosecution of her brother, knowing or believing that he was guilty of a killing.

Following the guilty verdict Mr Justice Alex Owens sentenced Brady to the mandatory term of life imprisonment.

The sentence is backdated to 24 November 2016 when Brady first entered custody.

The judge thanked the jury and exempted the members from further service for five years.