Saturday 22 October 2016

Sister and brother held over knife murder of 'gentleman' musician

Greg Harkin

Published 05/08/2015 | 02:30

The body of Mr Kivlehan is removed from his home in Holborn Court, Sligo
The body of Mr Kivlehan is removed from his home in Holborn Court, Sligo
Michael Kivlehan was found stabbed to death in his flat

A woman and her brother were being quizzed by detectives last night about the brutal murder of a musician.

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Martin Kivlehan, known by his friends as Matt, was stabbed a number of times at his home in Sligo. Forensic teams spent a second day at his flat at Holborn Court, where his body had been found on Monday afternoon.

Floral tributes were attached to garda traffic cones outside the apartments. A bodhrán was also left in tribute to the accomplished banjo player.

A 25-year-old woman and a 29-year-old brother were being questioned about the killing at Sligo Garda Station, less than 1km away from the scene.

It is understood that Mr Kivlehan was stabbed a number of times and a kitchen knife was discarded at the scene.

Gardaí are studying CCTV images recorded outside the apartment block. Forensic teams could be seen at the rear of the Holburn Street premises.

Independent councillor Séamus O'Boyle, a friend of Mr Kivlehan, said the killing had left everyone in the area numb.

"We were in shock at Matt's death already, but for it then to become a murder inquiry has left us completely astounded.

"He was one of life's true gentleman. Matt had been unwell in recent times, so he wouldn't have played the banjo that often, but he was a wonderful banjo player and came from a very musical family in the town.

"Everyone is shocked at his death, but there is an added shock when someone you know so well is murdered like this.

"It's heart-breaking for his family, who are wonderful, decent people."

Local musician Tabby Callaghan - who finished third in the first series of 'X Factor' in 2004 - said Mr Kivlehan had been his inspiration.

"Music for me started with Matt and his friends playing in the local pubs," he said.

"He was a great banjo player and always had time to stop for a chat. It is a very sad time for his family and friends."

As gardaí conducted door-to-door inquiries, a spokesman confirmed that the victim died from multiple stab wounds.

He said: "The preliminary results from the post mortem examination have been furnished to investigating gardaí, details of which are not being released for operational reasons.

"Following the post mortem, gardaí can confirm that Martin Kivlehan died of stab wounds and a murder investigation has commenced."

Gardaí appealed for witnesses who may have been in the vicinity of Holborn Street between 10pm on Sunday night and 1pm on bank holiday Monday to contact Sligo Garda Station on 071 915 7000, the Garda Confidential Line (1800 666 111) or any garda station.

Irish Independent

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