Sunday 23 July 2017

Suspect quizzed after 'good Samaritan' stabbed to death

Gardai at the scene of the stabbing, on St Cronan's Avenue in Swords, of James Joyce
Gardai at the scene of the stabbing, on St Cronan's Avenue in Swords, of James Joyce

Tom Brady Security Editor

A MAN was in garda custody last night after a father-to-be was stabbed to death when he attempted to break up a row.

Good Samaritan James Joyce (20) was struck several times in the upper body with a domestic knife.

One of the blows is thought to have severed an artery and Mr Joyce was pronounced dead when he arrived at Beaumont Hospital.

He was killed in front of his pregnant girlfriend, Alison Colgan after he attempted to step into an argument between two local men.

Gardai believe the row had been simmering for some time as a result of friction over a former girlfriend.

Mr Joyce was talking to a group of youths, who had been drinking in a green area on a Fingal council housing estate at St Cronan's Avenue in Swords, Co Dublin, when the row escalated on Thursday evening.

As he attempted to keep the peace, one of the youths ran to a nearby house and returned with two kitchen knives. He argued with Mr Joyce and then stabbed him before running off.

Gardai later recovered the two weapons and they were examined yesterday by forensic experts.

Detectives interviewed some of the youths who had been present on the green and also made door-to-door inquiries.

Shortly before 9am yesterday, a 22-year-old man, who had been wanted for questioning about the incident, walked into Lusk garda station in north Dublin.

He was arrested and taken for questioning to Swords station, where he was still being held last night. He can be detained for up to 24 hours.

Comforted

Gardai said they were satisfied Mr Joyce had not been involved in the row but had been trying to stop it.

His girlfriend, who is due to give birth in October, was being comforted by relatives and friends yesterday.

Officers said they were not looking for anybody else in connection with the stabbing.

Mr Joyce, who was unemployed, lived nearby in St Cronan's Close with his parents and was described as a harmless young man who had become a victim because of his intervention.

Gardai are satisfied that some of those on the green had been drinking earlier in the evening.

The officer leading the inquiries, Supt Mark Curran, described the stabbing as an isolated incident and said gardai would be working closely with the community to ensure there was no further violence as a result of the stabbing.

He said he wanted to reassure the community that the investigation would cover all aspects of the row.

Anyone with information has been asked to contact Swords station at 01 6664700 or phone the confidential line, 1800 666111.

Irish Independent

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