If your child died violently and a policeman later quietly told you that semen had been found on the corpse, what would you think?
You wouldn’t think at all. You’d go insane.
You’d go fucking nuts and you’d want the pervert murderer cut up in small pieces and fed to rabid dogs.
Wouldn’t you? I would. In fact, I’d probably go out and cut the fucker up myself, and so would you. You’d feel the very same, and that’s exactly the state of mind Majella Holohan was in when she gave a victim impact statement to the court before Wayne O Donoghue’s sentencing. Who could blame the poor woman, whose son had died in such circumstances and who had recently learned that semen had been found on his body? Semen that matched the DNA profile of the self-confessed killer.
That seems to be that. Nothing else to discuss. Wayne O Donoghue is obviously a sexually-motivated killer, isn’t he?
Well, actually, no, he isn’t. You see, semen samples are strange things. In a sexual assault, semen cells don’t go around in hundreds. They’re always present in stupendous numbers: hundreds of thousands. Millions. Those little fuckers are very numerous indeed, and when you find a sample of two hundred, you have to be very suspicious because this kind of number is the sort of thing you find when people have bumped against each other. You could contaminate me with this level of DNA by passing close to me in a bar. If you’d recently got yourself laid, you could leave a semen sample on me, you dirty bastard.
Now, the semen sample found on Robert Holohan’s body was at most 200 cells: the sort of minuscule sample that can easily be transferred by light contact, and the sort of sample that was thoroughly discredited in the recent Omagh bombing trial.
Likewise, if you shared a bathroom with several teenaged boys, all of whose DNA is close enough to yours to give a positive result, you’d be contaminated, and you’d leave a positive sample on somebody you struggled with.
And yet, the Irish police chose to go to the mother of this poor dead child, killed by accident, and reveal the fact that this highly questionable sample had been found on his body, but without explaining how shaky the evidence was.
What did it achieve?
It served to torture a poor woman who had been summarily robbed of a young son.
It served to blacken the name of Wayne O Donoghue, who had accidentally caused the boy’s death and who will suffer as a result for the rest of his life.
And yet again it showed up our police force as a deeply unprofessional and cynical organisation who’ll get you by character assassination if they can’t secure a conviction through the proper channels.
In all this pathetic saga, what was poor Majella Holohan to the police? Simple: Majella was a means to an end, and they couldn’t give a rat’s arse what sort of torture they’ve caused the poor woman with their misinformed, ignorant, scientifically-illiterate whispering campaign.