'For God's sake, turn yourself in' - Appeal after 'family man' taxi driver is stabbed to death
* Martin Mulligan stabbed to death
* Body found at 3.15am on roadside
* Family of victim visit scene
* Victim described as a 'good-living man'
"For God's sake, turn yourself in," were the blunt words of a parish priest this evening appealing for information after a taxi driver was found dead near his car in the early hours of this morning.
'Family man' Martin Mulligan (53) is believed to have been stabbed to death.
The shocking discovery was made in Dundalk at approximately 3.15am by passers by in the Kilcurry area north of the town on the road to Armagh.
"It is an absolutely horrendous happening to befall any family, but for Martin's family it's a definite tragedy," Fr Michael Cusack said on RTE Six One News this evening.
"He was a very popular, good-living man, hardworking and well-liked in the community.
"The last thing they expected was for him to go out to work and not return.
"It is a day of complete tragedy. A complete nightmare.
"The family are completely in shock... deeply shocked.
"This is just your ordinary hardworking father and son and husband doing his best to put bread on the table and in his efforts, he ends up losing his life."
The parish priest appealed for information as a large number of family, neighbours and friends, gathered to comfort the Mulligan family today.
"These man [taxi drivers] have a hard graft, working late at night and God only knows the condition of some of the people they carry with them," Fr Cusack continued.
"But the last thing the family expect is that they don't come home.
"Whoever did this, for God's sake, turn yourself in and do the decent thing.
"It's not going to bring any real comfort to the family now, this family have lost their loved one, this mother has lost her son, a wife has lost her husband and two daughters have lost their father.
"Nothing good can come for this."
Mr Mulligan was from the Waterview estate on Lower Point Road in Dundalk.
Gardai are keeping an open mind in their investigations but have not discounted robbery as a possible motive for the attack.
At the Mulligan family home this morning a nephew of Martin’s said they did not know why or how he was killed, and said they were all in shock.
“We’re waiting to hear. We really don’t know what happened,” he said.
Speaking at a press conference this afternoon Garda Superintendent Gerry Curley, Dundalk said gardai are appealing for information from anyone who witnessed the incident.
He said Mr Mulligan, had begun work as a taxi driver in a beige coloured Skoda Octavia at around 9.30 last night.
Its registration number is 07 LH 5599 and gardai are investigating a number of sightings of it during the night.
The alarm was raised shortly after 3am and gardai and the emergency services attended the scene.
Mr Mulligan was pronounced dead at the scene, the Superintendent said.
A post mortem will be carried out at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital this evening by the deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis who examined the scene near Kilcurry, west of Dundalk earlier today.
A senior investigation officer and a family liaison officer have been appointed by gardai and an incident room has been set up in Dundalk garda station.
Superintendent Curley said they were appealing to anyone in the area where he was found between 1 and and 3.30am to contact them and they also wanted to hear from “anyone who used this (taxi) services after 9.30pm or anyone who saw him or his car during the course of the night.”
‘We are satisfied it was a violent death,” and he said the gardai will be seeking assistance from the PSNI given the proximity to the border.
He said house to house enquires are underway and a “full detailed examination of the scene is taking place.”
He said the deceased was a “family man, a local man,” and “a hard working man in the Dundalk area.”
He said no motive has been established yet.
It is understood the taxi driver’s body was found by a member of the public a short distance away from a taxi.
It is believed Mr Mulligan sustained a number of serious stab injuries.
The office of the State Pathologist was notified and Dr Michael Curtis carried out a preliminary examination of the body at around 11am.
At the scene today on a quiet link road from the R177, 4km from Dundalk, Mr Mulligan’s 2007 Louth registered beige Skoda Octavia taxi could be seen parked off the side of the road.
A blue forensic tent covering Mr Mulligan’s body could also be seen about 30 or 40 metres beyond the car indicating that he may have been attacked a distance away, or in the car and staggered away for help.
Members of the victim's family also visited the scene earlier this morning.
The chairperson of Dundalk Municipal District, Cllr Maria Doyle said, "I was shocked to hear about this death. To hear that someone has been stabbed and left to die alone in our locality is horrific."
The road is a back road to county Armagh and is boarded by a field on one side and the northbound carriage of the motorway the other side.
Gardai are appealing for witnesses to contact the incident room at Dundalk Garda Station on 042 9388400, the Garda Confidential Line, 1800666111 or any Garda Station.