'Only saving grace is that he is with his mam now' - Father of teenager stabbed to death
Reece Cullen's father Ken O'Flanagan has spoken about how his son was 'trying to turn his life around' as he described the area he was living in as a 'hotbed of crime and drugs'.
O'Flanagan tells today's Irish Daily Star that his son had fallen in with 'a bad crowd' after the death of his mother Anne Marie by suicide in September last year but that he was 'pulling himself out' of that lifestyle.
Reece was killed on Thursday afternoon in Kilclare Crescent in Jobstown after receiving a single stab wound to the chest.
A teenager was arrested on Friday morning in connection with the incident but he has since been released without charge.
Describing the area in which his children lived as a 'hotbed of crime and drugs' O'Flanagan said he had moved his seven-year-old son out of the area after Anne Marie's death.
"I decided we had to get out of that area," O'Flanagan tells the paper. "It's full of drugs. I even once saw three little shites rob a pizza delivery man wearing a balaclava and with a mock handgun just for the pizza. It's a joke, I had to get out. It cost his mam her life and now it has cost Reece his.
"I pleaded with Reece to come with me - but he just wouldn't listen. He stayed living there with his older brother. He became a product of his environment."
Paying tribute to his son as a 'kind hearted, lovable character' O'Flanagan went on to describe how there were 'packs of feral young lads living in Jobstown who think they are Pablo Escobar or big-time gangsters. In reality, they are all young kids.'
Reece was working with a Youthreach Programme to help early-school leavers get back into education and O'Flanagan said his son had hoped to get work with engines as he loved cars.
Now the family are putting plans in place for the teenager's funeral.
"The only saving grace we can get from this is that he is with his mam now," said O'Flanagan. "We lost the both of them too soon. At least they will be laid to rest together."