Friday 9 December 2016

Three quizzed over attack on tragic kickboxer Niall

Edel Kennedy and Elaine Keogh

Published 16/10/2010 | 05:00

Niall Dorr (18) was a champion kickboxer and had planned to join the Defence Forces. Photo: PA
Niall Dorr (18) was a champion kickboxer and had planned to join the Defence Forces. Photo: PA

A YOUNG man who died after a vicious assault had been due to take part in a kickboxing championship next month.

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Niall Dorr (18) died less than 24 hours after being assaulted by a group of people on Wednesday night. It is understood that a post mortem carried out on his body yesterday showed that he died from head injuries.

The death of the teenager -- who was a champion kickboxer -- has now been upgraded to murder. Last night, three people were in custody.

Investigating gardai have said they believe that a number of people are withholding information on the killing -- including the motive -- and have appealed for them to come forward. Upwards of 40 gardai are involved in the case.

The young man, who had attended an interview to join the Defence Forces earlier on the day that he was attacked, was the victim of an assault as he and two friends walked along Castle Road, Dundalk, around 9pm on Wednesday.

It is believed that the group of friends became involved in an altercation with up to six men and one woman. In all, around 10 people were involved in the incident, which attracted the attention of local residents and passers-by and resulted in a patrol car being flagged down.

Mr Dorr was originally taken to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda but then transferred to Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, which specialises in head injuries.

However, he was then transferred back to Drogheda and yesterday afternoon a decision was taken to turn off his life-support machine.

Garda Superintendent Gerry Curley yesterday appealed for people to come forward. Investigating officers are particularly anxious to talk to the motorist who flagged down the garda patrol car.

"We are asking that motorist to contact us at Dundalk garda station on 042-9388470," said Supt Curley.

Gardai also want to talk to anybody who was in the Castle Road area around 9pm on Wednesday.

Supt Curley said the gardai were "exploring all avenues," in relation to a possible motive.

He added: "I would like to thank the public for their great support -- but I believe there are people who have information who have not yet come forward. I am appealing to them to do so."

A post-mortem examination was carried out yesterday by the state pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy at the Louth County Hospital, Dundalk, and last night the victim's parents David and Veronica and brother Shane (20) were making burial arrangements.

Motive

Supt Curley said gardai were looking at the movements of the victim in the hours before the altercation. He would not reveal what injuries may have been suffered by others at the scene but confirmed that many witnesses had been spoken to.

"This was a tragic incident and it resulted in the death of this young man," he said. "We have to be sensitive to his family, who are grieving, and we express sympathies to them."

Gardai are also working to determine whether a knife recovered from the scene was related to the attack.

A former student of St Mary's College in Dundalk, Niall Dorr had completed his Leaving Cert in 2009. He had recently passed the fitness test for the Army and had conducted an interview with officers on the day of the assault.

He won a silver medal in a kickboxing championship last year and was due to take part in another tournament next month.

"We can't begin to imagine how his parents and brother feel," said Con McGinley, principal of St Mary's. "Kickboxing was his forte, he loved sport."

He added that teachers and pupils had been left "traumatised" by his violent death.

Last night, a tribute website was set up in memory of the young man, with hundreds of friends posting messages.

"There was a new star in the sky last night and it shined very bright because God took someone special," wrote one.

Mr Dorr had been due to take part in a bungee jump in the coming weeks in order to raise money for Our Children's Hospital in Crumlin.

Last night, his family asked for donations to be made to the hospital in his memory, in lieu of flowers.

Three men who were arrested in connection with the assault remained in garda custody last night.

Two were arrested on Thursday night on suspicion of assault causing harm to Mr Dorr, while a third, aged 30, was arrested yesterday afternoon and taken to Drogheda garda station.

All three are being detained under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

Irish Independent

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