Sunday 22 September 2019

Man (20) charged with murder after fatal Kerry stabbing 'acted in self-defence'

Blake Sweeney from Kerry pictured arriving at Tralee Court House. Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Blake Sweeney from Kerry pictured arriving at Tralee Court House. Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Ian Begley

Ian Begley

A 20-year-old man charged with the murder of a father-of-one in Co Kerry has claimed he acted in self-defence.

Blake Sweeney, of 31 Fertha Drive, Cahersiveen, Co Kerry appeared before Tralee District Court this afternoon in connection with the fatal stabbing of Robert Elston (33) on Wednesday morning.

The victim received serious stab wounds and was removed by ambulance to University Hospital in Kerry where he was pronounced dead.

Mr Sweeney was arrested a short time later and was detained at Killarney Garda Station under the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.

Victim: Robert Elston (Photo:
Victim: Robert Elston (Photo:

He was re-arrested at 2.17pm today and later charged with ‘murder contrary to common law’.

The 20-year-old was represented in court by solicitor Padraig O’Connell, appearing before Judge David Waters.

Mr Sweeney, who is unemployed and on disability allowance, stayed silent during the proceedings.

At Killarney Garda station, arresting officer Detective Sergeant John Kelly had asked Mr Sweeney if he understood the charges against him.

According to Mr Kelly, he replied: “Yeah, I do. I’m not guilty. I acted in self-defence.”

Mr Waters remanded him in custody until May 30 where he is due to appear before Tralee District Court again.

An application for free legal aid was made, which was granted on the grounds that Mr Sweeney is on disability allowance for prescribed medication.

The 20-year-old will also receive medical treatment and a psychiatric assessment while in custody.

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