Friday 30 January 2015

Man due in court this morning charged with the murder of Cathal Sweeney

Published 10/02/2014 | 02:30

Gardai at the scene in Terenure, Dublin; Inset: Cathal Sweeney in his rugby days
Mr Sweeney is the father of former Dublin senior hurling captain David Sweeney
Gardai at the scene in Terenure, Dublin. PA
A member of the gardai investigates the scene.
Terenure Rugby Death

A former captain of one of Dublin's best known rugby clubs was killed when a disagreement escalated into violence after Saturday's Six Nations match.

A man is due in court this morning charged with the murder of Cathal Sweeney in Terenure on Saturday evening.

The father-of-three and former captain of St Mary's rugby club in Templeogue was killed during a disagreement in a house at Ashdale Gardens in Terenure where it is believed he had been watching the Ireland and Wales Six Nations match.

Mr Sweeney (62) was with two other men at a Dublin apartment during and after the key fixture.

A 32-year-old man arrested at the scene will be charged with murder at Dublin District Court according to gardai.

The row broke out some time after the Ireland and Wales rugby match finished.

Emergency services were alerted and gardai and paramedics arrived at the property -- one of a number of converted flats -- just before 6pm on Saturday.

A number of calls were received by the emergency services including from neighbours who reported hearing sounds of a disturbance and shouting coming from the flat.

Mr Sweeney was treated at the scene and then taken by ambulance to St James's Hospital. He had sustained serious head injuries and died shortly after arrival at the hospital.

Mr Sweeney was a talented commercial and graphic artist but it is understood he had been out of work for a period and in receipt of disability benefit.

He was described by friends at the Terenure Inn, where he was a regular, as a "quiet and gentle man".

Mr Sweeney lived in an apartment on the South Circular Road, opposite the old Player Wills factory.

Mr Sweeney separated from his wife many years ago. He was the father of three children, two sons and a daughter.

Mr Sweeney is the father of former Dublin senior hurling captain David Sweeney, a star player with Ballyboden St Enda's. He captained the county side in 2003.

A spokesman for Ballyboden St Enda's GAA Club said: "The club sends deepest sympathy to the family. Our thoughts are with them at this tragic time."

Mr Sweeney continues to be an active and valued member of the club, said the spokesman.

Tributes were paid by members of his former club, St Mary's, where his brother JB Sweeney was also a former captain and his two nephews Richie and Robert still play.

Club stalwart D O'Brien told the Irish Independent: "Cathal was a lovely man, a fine rugby player and very talented athlete in his younger days. He played at full back and on the wing and was a very impressive figure -- tall with a shock of blond hair.

"He will be missed by those who knew him. He was a senior player and club captain in the 1970s. He was also a very fine commercial artist. His father was a well-known athletics coach."

Club manager Paudge McGill said the Sweeney family had a long and illustrious association with St Mary's. "We are all very sad. Cathal was a gentleman and a very good player. He will be sadly missed by older members who knew him and liked him an awful lot."


Conor Feehan

Irish Independent

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