Saturday 18 November 2017

'Awful tragedy': Nightclub attack victim and suspect 'were well known to each other'

Third family tragedy as man dies after city club attack

Tragedy: Christy Fitzgerald
Tragedy: Christy Fitzgerald

Ken Foy and Conor Feehan

A man has died after being attacked outside a nightclub over the weekend.

Christy Fitzgerald passed away last night in Beaumont Hospital after his life support was switched off.

A man from Finglas has been arrested in connection with the attack.

"This is an awful tragedy, these two were very well known to each other," a source said of the victim and the suspect.

Mr Fitzgerald, who was in his 30s, suffered catastrophic injuries when he was involved in a fight outside the Wright Venue nightclub in Swords in the early hours of Sunday.

Mr Fitzgerald's family had also suffered two previous tragedies. His brother was shot dead 17 years ago, while an uncle was gunned down in a cold-blooded murder a year later, in 2001.

In November 2000, Christy's brother Francis was shot dead through a window of his flat in Cabra, as part of what gardaí believe was a family feud.

The killers, who were armed with handguns, climbed on to a flat roof at the rear of 'Franno' Fitzgerald's home on Annamoe Terrace and shot him in the chest through a window.

He was found slumped on the floor by his girlfriend.

During their investigation, detectives examined possible links between the Cabra murder and previous assaults on members of the victim's family, including a gun attack on his uncle 11 days earlier.

In November 2001, one of Francis and Christy's uncles, Gerry 'Concrete' Fitzgerald (48), was shot dead. He was attacked as he was on his way to visit a friend at Shangan Avenue in Ballymun. He was shot in both knees and then the head.

The weekend attack on Christy was caught on CCTV, as was footage of the main suspect getting into a taxi nearby. The suspect arrested yesterday, aged in his early 30s, was detained at Swords Garda Station for questioning.

His arrest followed an appeal for information on a man wearing a light-coloured, short-sleeved T-shirt and dark trousers, who was seen getting into a light-coloured taxi after the incident.

The victim is originally from Finglas but has spent the last number of years in Drogheda, Co Louth. A source said CCTV footage clearly showed the sequence of events and would prove vital in finding the attacker. The pictures from outside the club will be compared to other footage from the area prior to the attack to help identify possible suspects.

Gardaí would like to speak to anybody who may have seen an altercation between two men outside between 3am and 3.30am.

Irish Independent

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