Teen was stabbed to death because of €2,000 drug debt
Published 24/03/2011 | 05:00
THE YOUNG man who was chased and stabbed to death last weekend was murdered because of a drugs debt of about €2,000, the Irish Independent has learned.
Gardai are now satisfied David Byrne owed money to a local gang in payment for drugs.
And the 19-year-old paid for his delay in handing over the cash with his life.
Officers also think there had been a minor personal dispute between Mr Byrne and the prime suspect.
The revelation emerged as gardai last night continued to question four male and two female teenagers about the murder at an apartment complex in south Dublin at the weekend.
Two of the seven detained in a garda round-up on Tuesday were released without charge.
But a second girl was detained on suspicion of withholding information about the stabbing and was being held last night under section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act, which allows the gardai to hold her without charge for up to three days.
Two of those being questioned are suspected of playing a major role in the stabbing, which took place in the Emmet Court apartment complex in Inchicore at around 10.30pm on Saturday after Mr Byrne had been chased by at least four attackers.
Gardai have established that the prime suspect had a deep personal dislike of Mr Byrne for some time.
After Mr Byrne had failed to settle his debt for drugs, his attackers decided to ambush him as he left his home at Davitt House, where he lived with his mother.
At least four men, wearing hooded tops, were waiting for him shortly after 10pm but he managed to escape from them and ran across a footbridge over the Grand Canal.
Footage taken from CCTV cameras showed the gang chasing their victim into St Vincent Street West where Mr Byrne then decided to find somewhere to hide from his attackers in the nearby Emmet Court complex.
But as he reached the car park of the complex the gang caught up with him and one of the attackers plunged a knife at least four times into his back and side.
They then made their getaway on foot as Mr Byrne lay dying on the ground.
An ambulance was quickly on the scene, but he died shortly afterwards at St James' hospital.
Mr Byrne was known to gardai because he associated with criminals in the Drimnagh-Inchicore area, but he was not regarded as a major figure and detectives ruled out any link between the stabbing and the notorious feud between two local gangs in Drimnagh and Crumlin.
That feud has claimed a dozen lives in the past decade.
Gardai are carrying out forensic tests on several potential weapons taken from the canal, including a couple of knives, to determine if one of them was used in the murder.