Man beaten to death with a hurley for 'slow driving'
Gardai probe separate attack on Pole
Published 03/10/2010 | 05:00
Ireland's first fatal road-rage victim appears to have been killed because the driver behind him thought he took off late from traffic lights and was driving too slowly, according to garda sources.
And gardai are also investigating an attack on another foreign worker after a Polish man was found with severe head wounds in north Dublin early yesterday. The man, aged 27, was described last night as critically ill and on a life- support machine in Beaumont Hospital. He may have been the victim of a random, motiveless assault.
Gardai in south Dublin are preparing a murder file in relation to the death of Raymond Bates, 43, a father of four boys from Durham in England who died last Thursday evening after succumbing to head wounds inflicted on him last Sunday at the junction of Newbridge Avenue and Sandymount Road in Dublin 4.
The suspect, a married local man in his late-20s with no criminal record, was questioned by gardai last week before Mr Bates died. He was released pending the completion of the investigation file and its submission to the Director of Public Prosecutions. The initial assault investigation has been raised to a murder investigation.
According to sources, the episode began at a set of traffic lights on Tritonville Road as both cars were heading away from Ringsend towards Sandymount, where Mr Bates was living in a rented apartment at Newgrove Avenue.
It is understood that the driver behind him began flashing his lights and beeping his horn, apparently enraged that Mr Bates was driving too slowly.
He cut off Mr Bates's car, went to the boot of his own car and took out a hurley stick. It is understood he struck Mr Bates's car bonnet and when Mr Bates got out of his own car he was then hit twice before falling and then hit a further two times on the head while he was prone on the road beside his car.
Gardai have also interviewed a woman who was in the car with the other driver, along with a child. He drove away after attacking Mr Bates. The incident was also witnessed by passengers on a Number 2 bus.
Several of the passengers have come forward but gardai again appealed yesterday for anyone who witnessed any part of the incident to contact them. Mr Bates, who was working on a gas pipe-laying project along the seafront in Sandymount, remained conscious and was able to drive himself home.
However, he felt nauseous on Monday morning and friends called an ambulance, which took him to St Vincent's Hospital. He was transferred to the head trauma unit in Beaumont Hospital where he died on Thursday.
His wife, Brenda, their sons and other family travelled to Dublin to be with him last week.
Mr Bates had been working on the gas pipeline for more than a year.
Gardai have also appealed for anyone who was in the area of the Newtown Industrial Estate on the Malahide Road at Coolock between 4am and 5am yesterday morning to contact them about an attack that has left a Polish man critically injured.
Gardai want anyone who might have seen the victim or anything suspicious along the road between the Hilton Hotel and the Darndale Roundabout at around this time to contact them. The victim is believed to have been walking in the direction of the city centre when he was attacked.
He was found by security staff at the industrial estate, where he worked in a fish processing factory. Gardai said they had absolutely no indication of a motive for the attack. The victim had never come to their attention and may have been attacked by a stranger.