Saturday, August 28, 1999

Dana Ireland Trial


By Dennis Oda, Star-Bulletin
John Ireland gives wife Louise a comforting
arm as the verdicts are returned. Daughter Sandy
Ingham sits beside him.

‘Justice for Dana’

The Ireland family is relieved;
Pauline's mother under stress

By Cynthia Oi


HILO -- Sometime today, the Ireland family will drive the 35 miles or so from Hilo to Kapoho to place a bouquet of yellow orchids and purple anthuriums at "Dana's tree."

The small palm is planted near the spot where Dana Ireland was run down by a car, kidnapped and later murdered. The blossoms will add a fresh remembrance of the 23-year-old woman, although few have forgotten her name in the years since her death on Christmas Day 1991.

When a jury yesterday declared that Frank Pauline Jr. was responsible for Dana's death, there was no celebration in the rented condo apartment where Louise and John Ireland have been living for the past six weeks.

There was, however, a sense of relief that someone had answered for their daughter's death.

"I never lost hope," John said, as he sipped on a can of Miller Genuine Draft. "But once in a while, especially in the three days we had to wait while the jury deliberated, I wondered."

Patricia Pauline also had hoped. She was not in court when the verdict in her son's trial was read. She was ill, too stressed to attend, said her eldest son, Joe Gonsalves. But earlier in the week, she often said that the evidence presented did not warrant conviction.

"Nothing matches up," Patricia said. "They don't have anything on him."

She spoke of her son as a mother would. Among her seven children, she said, "Frank was special, not better than the others, but special. He'll be my son even if he is convicted."

The Irelands don't deny Patricia's maternal feelings. But they point out that her son is still alive.

"If she wants, she can take a trip to Halawa (prison) and talk to him and see him. We can't do that with Dana," John said.

Dana's sister, Sandra, doesn't like "to blame parents for what their children do."

"He didn't have to run her down," she said. "He made a choice, and it's really sad because he made a very, very bad choice, and now they're paying for it. I don't like to see anybody go to jail, but he decided."

By Dennis Oda, Star-Bulletin
Leaving the Hilo courthouse after the jury returned
the guilty verdicts are, left to right, John Ireland,
Sandy and Jim Ingham, Louise Ireland, and
victim/witness counselor Dena Aindow. The
Irelands, who live in Springfield, Va., are
expected to leave Hawaii in a few days.

The Irelands will leave Hawaii in the next few days. Louise is anxious to be back in her own house after being cooped up in the condo.

"We have a view of the ocean and Mauna Kea," she said. But it also overlooks the state building where the trial was conducted, she said, convenient but a constant reminder of what was taking place inside.

Because they were listed as witnesses they weren't allowed to view the proceedings, getting information about the trial mostly through news stories and television.

They spent some of the time touring around Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and grocery shopping at the KTA.

Around Hilo town, they would encounter many sympathetic folks.

"I don't think I've ever met so many people who are as considerate as the people on the Big Island," John said.

"We went to a restaurant the other afternoon and the wait staff picked up the bill," he said.

"We tried to leave them a tip and they wouldn't take it," Sandra said.

"The community has had a lot of aloha for us," she said.

John also had praise for Dena Aindow, one of the county's eight victim/witness counselors.

"Dena was great. She's been a lot of help to us," he said.

"When I heard the verdict, I started to sink down in my seat, and she leaned over and grabbed my shoulder."

John said he was speechless as he left the courtroom.

"I couldn't talk. You put 7 1/2 years in this thing, it gets very emotional. Seven and a half years of waiting for justice."

As he speaks, his son-in-law, Jim Ingham, turns up the sound on a rabbit-eared television set.

The early local news program leads off with a story on the verdict.

"Look what it says," Ingham said, pointing to the story's logo. It reads "Justice for Dana."

"That's what it's all about," he said.

Dana Ireland Archive

Trial witnesses summary

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