Robert Holohan's disappearance on the 4th of January 2005 touched the heart of the nation. For eight days people from all over Ireland searched for the boy. All their hopes were dashed when his body was found. Then the full tragedy emerged when his good friend and neighbour, Wayne O'Donoghue, admitted to the killing; at the court case he pleaded guilty to manslaughter, and was sentenced to four years in prison.
Ralph Riegel's account of this tragedy starts at the afternoon of Robert's disappearance right up to the aftermath of Wayne O'Donoghue's trial and Majella Holohan's Victim Impact Statement.
Ralph Riegel lives in Cork. He has worked as a journalist for several newspapers including The Cork Examiner, The Evening Echo, The Evening Herald and The Sunday Independent
and is the southern correspondent for The Irish Independent
. He is also a regular contributor to RTE, BBC and TV3 and to British newspapers including the (London) Independent
and The Daily Telegraph
'A clear, concise and compassionate account'
The Munster Express
'Afraid of the Dark is a very fair, balanced and deeply moving account of one of the most heartbreaking tragedies of our time.'
County Sound FM
'The book is based on the reporter's coverage of the case at the time ... although much of the story may be familiar, there is more detail in this book than is possible to include in any newspaper, radio or television report. This is its strength. The detail in relation to what Wayne O'Donoghue told Gardai about the killing of Robert Holohan on three video-taped statements is both shocking and fascinating.'
Sunday Business Post
'It is a fascinating story and it is well-told by Riegel who has an excellent command of his subject matter ... one can only conclude on reading 'Afraid of the Dark' that there are a lot of unanswered questions in this case. The author has produced an informative and very readable book on a crime that will remain one of the great mysteries of Irish life for years to come.'
The Western People
'not just a story about the trauma of Robert's parents ... it highlights the huge voluntary effort involved in the search and the contributions made even by those who could not take part. the book is thorough in what it includes.'
The Evening Echo