Garda probe as devoted father found dead in pool of blood
Members of the garda technical unit at the flats complex in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford yesterday where Paddy Connors was found dead. Patrick Browne
A FATHER of two found dead in a pool of blood on a stairwell had just bought his daughter's communion dress.
Devoted father Paddy Connors (37) wanted to surprise his little girl Chantelle with a "dress fit for a princess" for her First Holy Communion.
However, his devastated family were last night mourning his death at their home in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, as gardai questioned a man in his 30s in connection with the incident.
Detectives have not yet upgraded the probe to murder, but they are treating Mr Connors' death as suspicious.
It is understood Mr Connors had been beaten before his body was found on the stairwell in a flats complex on the outskirts of Enniscorthy. He had been drinking there with a friend.
His parents, Elizabeth and Johnny, and his siblings described Paddy as a "loving" and "kind" man.
"He was the best father in the world. He was so protective of his two little girls, he lived for them," his eldest sister Anne said.
Paddy was separated from his partner but he loved to spend time with his daughters Chantelle (8) and Nan (2).
"He had the girls for the Easter holidays and only left them back on Tuesday. He had bought them Easter eggs and brought them to Mass on Easter Sunday.
"We will never forget his beautiful smile and his lovely brown curly hair and blue eyes," Anne added.
Mr Connors' body was found at Carrigtur, Springvalley, just after 8.15am yesterday. Local residents said officers were alerted to the scene after a man was heard shouting: "My friend is dead."
The victim, who was a settled Traveller from a family of 11, was found lying on the stairs.
Gardai arrested a man at the apartment complex. Mr Connors lived in a house nearby and had been visiting a friend.
They had been drinking together and it is understood he had tried to leave the flat but was prevented from doing so. It is understood he made a phone call to a friend for help shortly before his death.
Gardai sealed off the area as forensics examined the scene.
A post mortem was due to be carried out at Waterford General Hospital.
Gardai are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.
Mr Connors' daughters were being comforted at his family home last night.
"Poor Chantelle is distraught. She loved her daddy so much. He was always worrying about the girls, he was a really caring person," said Anne Connors.