Murdered teen's stabbing death 'is not linked to gangland feud'
Published 22/03/2011 | 07:35
GARDAI believe a murdered 19-year-old was knifed in the back by local thugs and have ruled out a link to a long-running feud.
Officers investigating the fatal stabbing of David Byrne at a Dublin apartment complex say they do not think the incident is part of the notorious Crumlin-Drimnagh feud, which has claimed a dozen lives over the past decade.
Members of the garda underwater unit have searched a stretch of the Grand Canal near the scene of the murder and recovered a number of potential weapons, including knives.
A post-mortem examination at St James's Hospital yesterday confirmed that Mr Byrne died from stab wounds in the back.
Gardai said last night that they were examining a number of theories on the motive for the attack on the teen but were not following any definite line.
One officer said: "This was not connected with gangland and had nothing to do with the feud. It was pure thuggery involving local hoods".
He said there was no evidence linking the murder to a previous knife attack on Mr Byrne last year and gardai were gathering information on his recent movements to find a reason for Saturday night's incident.
Mr Byrne was known to associate with local criminals in the Drimnagh and Inchicore areas but was not involved in the major gangs and was not regarded as a big player. His attackers were apparently waiting for him when he left his home at Davitt House, where he lived with his mother, shortly after 10pm on Saturday.
At least four men were implicated, although garda said last night that a number of others could have been involved on the periphery.
Mr Byrne ran from the gang and was chased across a footbridge over the Grand Canal and into St Vincent Street West in Inchicore before seeking refuge in the nearby Emmet Court apartment complex.
Footage taken from CCTV cameras showed how he ran into the car park where he was cornered by the gang and one of them stabbed him up to five times with a knife.
The attackers all wore hooded tops but gardai are hoping to glean some information about their identities from a detailed examination of the footage.
Meanwhile, a heavy garda presence was maintained around the murder scene yesterday. Search teams scoured local green areas and a cemetery opposite the Emmet Court apartment complex for any clues.
Gardai also made door-to-door enquiries around the Davitt House area and interviewed neighbours.
Locals expressed shock at what had happened to Mr Byrne, who was described as a "nice young fellow".
Brian Murphy, the manager of the nearby St John Bosco community centre, said the teenager had attended after-school clubs there between the ages of eight and 15.
He had taken part in drama and art groups and also in community radio in recent years.
The death had come as a massive shock to people in the area, he said.
The family of the murdered teenager declined to comment.