Thursday 21 September 2017

Boy (14) arrested in relation to fatal 'frenzied' stab attack of Reece (16)

*Teenager presents himself at garda station
*Post-mortem due today
*Archbishop of Dublin condemns Ireland's 'knife culture'
*Teenager lost mother a few months ago

The scene of a fatal stabbing in Jobstown, Tallaght. Inset: Victim Reece Cullen
The scene of a fatal stabbing in Jobstown, Tallaght. Inset: Victim Reece Cullen
Scene of a stabbing incident in Jobstown on Friday morning (Photo: Tony Gavin)
Gardai on duty outside the house in Kilclare Crescent, Jobstown where 17 year old Reece Cullen was stabbed to death. Photo: Tony Gavin
Gardaí at the scene of the fatal stabbing in Kilclare Crescent, Jobstown, last night. Photo: Collins
Gardai at the scene of the fatal stabbing of a teenager in Kilclare Cresent, Tallaght this evening. Photo: Collins
Gardai at the scene of the fatal stabbing of a teenager in Kilclare Cresent, Tallaght. Photo: Collins
Gardaí investigate the scene in Kilclare Crescent, Jobstown after Reece Cullen was stabbed to death on Thursday. Photo: Collins
Gardai at the scene of the fatal stabbing of a teenager in Kilclare Cresent. Photo: Collins
Thursday 05 January 2017. Photo: Douglas O'Connor. Scene of stabbing, Kilclare Crescent, Jobstown.
The scene in Jobstown
The scene in Jobstown
Gardai at the scene in Kilclare Cresent. Photo: Collins
An officer stands guard at the house in Kilclare Cresent. Photo: Collins
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A 14-year-old boy has been arrested in relation to the fatal stabbing of a 16-year-old at a house in Tallaght yesterday.

The young teenager presented himself at Tallaght Garda Station at 7am and can be questioned for up to 24 hours.

Victim Reece Cullen
Victim Reece Cullen

He is currently detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984.

Reece Cullen (16) died in the brutal knife attack.

It is understood he was targeted during a row at a house in Kilclare Crescent, Jobstown, just after 3pm.

The killer had fled the scene by the time the teenager was discovered by a neighbour and gardaí have not yet recovered the knife that was used in the attack.

Emergency services were alerted by a neighbour who heard a commotion and discovered the 16-year-old bleeding heavily in the hallway of the house.

Reece was still alive when the ambulance arrived and he was rushed to Tallaght Hospital but he was later pronounced dead by doctors.

'Knife culture'

Meanwhile, Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has condemned a “knife culture” which he believes exists in Ireland.

Scene of a stabbing incident in Jobstown on Friday morning (Photo: Tony Gavin)
Scene of a stabbing incident in Jobstown on Friday morning (Photo: Tony Gavin)

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Archbishop Martin said knives are becoming the “preferred weapon” and very easy to obtain.

"There is a changing culture of violence going on in the city.

"We have a situation which knives are becoming the preferred weapon in some conflicts and they're so easy to obtain. You can go to any large store, you can find them in any kitchen.

"In the past, if a scuffle broke out, people came away with a bleeding nose, now people get killed and maimed.

Gardai on duty outside the house in Kilclare Crescent, Jobstown where 17 year old Reece Cullen was stabbed to death. Photo: Tony Gavin
Gardai on duty outside the house in Kilclare Crescent, Jobstown where 17 year old Reece Cullen was stabbed to death. Photo: Tony Gavin

"It hits a victim, a young perpetrator; it hits two families, that’s the thing that's changing. How you can address it is the big problem.

"The fundamental thing is about anger management... how do we help young people to cope with anger and frustration?"

Motive

Meanwhile, gardaí believe that Reece knew his killer and detectives were last night trying to establish what led to the fatal attack.

Friends of the victim said he was "a quiet, unassuming young lad" who was putting his life together.

He had recently been enrolled in a Youthreach programme, the organisation which gives early school leavers a second chance of an education.

"I don't know what to say, it's heartbreaking," one friend told the Irish Independent.

"He was just a quiet young guy. He's been through some difficult stuff. It hasn't been easy for him.

"But he was getting it together and he had been enrolled with Youthreach.

"He was into the normal kind of things young lads are into around here.

"He liked the motorbikes, scramblers and that kind of thing."

It is understood that Reece's mother died last September and the teenager had been staying with a friend's mother in recent times.

Residents of Bawnlea Crescent in Jobstown, where Reece was originally from, said they were shocked and saddened at the death of the teenager.

"It's very sad. I heard the news about the death of a young person but I didn't know that it was Reece," said a 65-year-old local woman.

"I've known Reece since he was very young. This is very sad for his family and for everyone who knows them," she said, adding that his mother had died only a few months ago.

"I will say a prayer for him and his family."

A 71-year-old man who has lived in the area for the past 40 years said the community was deeply saddened by the tragedy.

"He was so young. This is very sad news," he said.

A full post-mortem is due to take place this morning when the investigation is expected to be officially upgraded to a murder probe.

Officers are also expected to interview the woman who found the critically injured teenager as well as the paramedics who tended to him.

Sources said Reece's friends would be interviewed over the coming days as gardaí try to determine whether he had been in any disputes.

"Gardaí are confident enough at this stage that this unfortunate young man knew his killer," a source said.

Locals in Kilclare Crescent expressed their shock after learning about the incident.

A woman who didn't want to be named said she had lived in the estate for the last three years, and her partner was from the area.

"It usually feels quite safe. I haven't heard of anything like this," she said.

Another local expressed sympathy for Reece's family. "I didn't know him myself, but can you imagine how that family feels?" he said.

Outraged

South Dublin county councillor Charlie O'Connor said the community was outraged following the fatal stabbing.

"It's a terrible, shocking thing. At 3.30 in the afternoon? It's horrendous," he said.

Gardaí have appealed for witnesses who may have been in the Kilclare area yesterday between 2.45pm and 3.30pm to contact them at Tallaght garda station on 01 666 6000, the Garda Confidential Telephone Line 1800 666 111 or any garda station.

Irish Independent

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