Wednesday 26 July 2017

Tests will show if knife was used to kill grandfather

Gerard Delaney
Gerard Delaney
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A KNIFE recovered by gardai is undergoing forensic tests to determine if it was the weapon used to kill a grandfather in a vicious street brawl.

Gardai and local politicians again appealed for calm in the wake of the killing of grandfather and father-of-two Gerard 'Ger' Delaney (51) in Cork. He was stabbed in a melee outside a Ballyphehane pub on St Stephen's night.

Gardai have now recovered a number of weapons used in the street brawl, including the knife.

The blade is undergoing forensic examination to determine if it was the same weapon used to fatally stab Mr Delaney.

Other weapons recovered include clubs, a baseball bat and pickaxe handles. Gardai are also examining CCTV camera footage to determine if the attack was captured.

Fears over an escalation in the violence yesterday prompted Cork's lord mayor Terry Shannon to appeal for restraint and for the public to support the gardai in doing their job.

"This is a tragedy but people must not get involved outside the law. Any witnesses or anyone with information should inform the gardai," he said.

Gardai have now increased their presence in Mahon, Ballyphehane and Togher and armed members of the Regional Support Unit are on standby.

Mr Delaney -- who worked in the construction industry -- was not involved in a bitter local feud between two families and had been viewed over recent months as a calming influence.

He was at his Mahon home, babysitting his grandchildren with his wife Mary, when he received a telephone call late on Monday night that some relatives were in difficulty.

He went to the Manhattan bar on Lower Friar's Walk, together with several other men who had clubs and baseball bats.

In the confrontation that followed, Mr Delaney became separated from his friends and was savagely assaulted. At one point, almost 30 people were involved in a running street battle.

Mr Delaney was stabbed -- sustaining at least one deep puncture wound to his back -- and then beaten about the face and upper body after he collapsed on the roadway.

It is feared that he was beaten over the head with a pickaxe handle.

His friends managed to bring him to a relative's house on Plunkett Road to recover but he then had to be rushed by car to Cork University Hospital (CUH) after his condition suddenly deteriorated.

Mr Delaney died shortly after being admitted to the hospital. A family spokesman said relatives were too distressed to comment on the killing.

Pickaxe

Mr Delaney's body is not expected to be released to his family for at least 24 hours. Funeral arrangements will then be confirmed.

A post-mortem examination indicated that he died from stab wounds and blunt-force trauma to the head.

Mr Delaney's death came after years of simmering tensions between the two families on Cork's southside.

Last February, the deceased's younger brother, Finbarr 'Finny' Delaney (46), was savagely assaulted outside his home by two men wielding a machete and a slash hook.

He sustained critical injuries but later made a full recovery.

Irish Independent

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