Irishman dies in Germany after he stabbed three people
AN Irishman with a history of violent assault died after going on a stabbing spree in Holland and Germany which left three people in hospital.
Gardai and the Department of Foreign Affairs last night confirmed that Enda McLaughlin from Carndonagh, Co Donegal, had been killed in Germany.
He died after being struck on a motorway by a car being driven by a British couple as he attempted to flee the scene of a stabbing.
A garda spokesman last night said Interpol informed gardai of the death of the 27-year-old yesterday and his next of kin have been notified.
Mr McLaughlin has a number of previous convictions, including assault.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said it has also been notified of the man's death but there has been been no request to date for consular assistance.
The tragedy unfolded at around 1am on Monday when McLaughlin hailed a taxi in the Dutch city of Heerlen and asked it to take him across the border to Aachen in Germany. But instead of paying the driver, the suspect stabbed him and fled the scene. He then came across a German national who was parking his car and stabbed him when he demanded money and the man was unable to produce any cash.
McLaughlin then hailed another taxi to Cologne, however, by this point German taxi dispatchers had put out an alert on its radio system and the driver pulled into a layby on the pretext of allowing the suspect to stretch his legs, before leaving him at the side of the road and speeding off.
However, McLaughlin then attacked a truck driver in the layby before running onto the neighbouring motorway where he was struck and killed by a car.
Media reports claimed the suspect was carrying an ID card for prisoners used by the Irish Prison Service (IPS).
Peter Jansen, the chief prosecutors office in Aachen, said an identity card, similar to one used by an Irish detention facility, was found on the suspect's body. However a spokesman for the IPS said it was unaware of any connection.
All three stab victims were being treated in hospital last night, including the truck driver who is said to be in critical condition. The British couple, believed to be tourists, were treated for shock.
The motorway where the drama unfolded was sealed off until yesterday morning, causing severe tailbacks towards Cologne.
A busy Cologne taxi company said the incident had "shocked all the drivers, nothing like this has ever happened before."
McLaughlin's body will undergo a post-mortem exam at a Cologne hospital where toxicology tests will also be conducted.
Meanwhile, residents living in the close-knit community of Carndonagh on the Inishowen peninsula were in shock last night following the news of McLaughlin's death.
A local resident said McLaughlin had a tough life.
"He's had a challenging life and he's made many challenges to the community," he told the Irish Independent.
While McLaughlin has "struggled all of his life" he still has many immediate and extended family living in the area, he said.
He made national headlines in 2007 when he was jailed for 18 months after launching an unprovoked attack on circus workers when the circus visited the town.
McLaughlin, who was 20 at the time, burst into a circus tent in the town and punched one of the workers in the face for no reason.
He was also given a two-year jail term in 2012 after he was convicted of stabbing a man at a house party with a wine bottle he had smashed over his head in an unprovoked attack. Letterkenny District Court heard that almost all of his previous convictions were the result of his addiction to alcohol.