Thursday 23 March 2017

Suspect found with knife in hand

Eimear Ni Bhraonain, Eoghan MacConnell and Tom Brady

GARDAI called to an apartment after a man was brutally stabbed to death found the suspected killer clasping the murder weapon in his hand.

Kieran Monahan (21) from Durrow, Co Laois, was rushed to St Luke's Hospital in Kilkenny after he was stabbed in an apartment in Larchfield Court on the outskirts of Kilkenny city.

It is believed a row had broken out in the apartment where three men were drinking.

A second man, Dale Fogarty (27), from Clough, Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny, remains in hospital in a serious condition after he was stabbed in the same incident on St Valentine's night.

Mr Monahan, who was known to his friends as 'Mono', was knifed to death while the second victim was also injured in the altercation.

A member of the public contacted gardai shortly after 1.30am -- and officers who were on the scene within minutes discovered two men with stab wounds.

The men were rushed to St Luke's hospital where Mr Monahan was pronounced dead. The second man's injuries are not life-threatening.

Gardai who called to the apartment arrested a third man -- a 35-year-old who is also from Co Kilkenny -- and brought him to the Dominic Street garda station for questioning. He was later brought to hospital for treatment for head injuries. It's understood that when detectives found this man he was still holding the knife allegedly used to kill Mr Monahan.

Family members gathered at Mr Monahan's home in Erkindale Drive, Durrow, Co Laois, yesterday but they were too upset to comment. Durrow Parish Priest Fr Sean O'Doherty said he knew the family but hadn't yet been in contact with them. "Everybody is upset, it's a terrible thing to happen," he remarked.

Mr Monahan, who is survived by a brother, sister and his parents Jimmy and Mary, had only been released from prison in recent weeks.

His brother yesterday asked for privacy as the family came to terms with the brutal killing.

One local resident said Mr Monahan's family were "decent hardworking people" who had tried very hard to keep Kieran on the right track. A troubled teen, he had been involved in a number of public order incidents which led to his arrest and imprisonment in the past.

Decent

In Kilkenny city, residents were appalled yesterday morning to wake to news of the stabbings.

Brian Roche, who moved into the Larchfield Court apartments a fortnight ago, said it was a "nice neighbourhood".

"Little did we know that something like this could happen when we moved here. It is known to be a very nice area with decent people," he said before adding that he was "shocked" to see gardai in the estate as he left for work. Parents leaving the estate with their children for school this morning, had to fill out questionnaires for gardai.

Local councillor, John Coonan, who lives in Willow Close, behind the apartments where the incident occurred, said it was a "traditional area" where residents were "very active" in keeping an eye on each other.

Mr Coonan, who was at the estate this morning, said he "couldn't believe" what had happened.

"I heard no party, it seemed to be quiet last night."

Supt Mick Nevin, who is leading the investigation, said gardai were in the "very early stages" of their inquiries.

"We are gathering information to find out exactly what happened and we are following a number of lines of inquiry."

Gardai are appealing for information from anyone who was in the vicinity of the Larchfield Court area to contact them on 056 777 5000.

Irish Independent

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