Tuesday 20 February 2018

Man charged with murder of former rugby player

Gardai at the scene in Terenure, Dublin; Inset: Cathal Sweeney in his rugby days
Gardai at the scene in Terenure, Dublin; Inset: Cathal Sweeney in his rugby days

Andrew Phelan

A MAN has been charged with the murder of a former rugby player.

Cathal Sweeney (62), a former captain of St Mary's Rugby Club in Templeogue, whose son David previously captained the Dublin senior hurlers, suffered serious head injuries and died later in hospital.

Gary Walsh (31), of Ravensdale, Kimmage, was brought before Dublin District Court charged with the murder of Mr Sweeney, a father of three, at an apartment in Ashdale Gardens, Terenure, where he had been watching Saturday's rugby game.

Mr Walsh, who was arrested at the scene and questioned, was remanded in custody after the court heard he made no reply to the charge when it was put to him.

It is believed a row broke out at the house some time after the match finished. Mr Sweeney was treated at the scene but died later in St James's Hospital.

Det Sgt Joe Sweeney told Judge Michael Walsh that he arrested the defendant at Terenure garda station at 12.01am yesterday.

He was present when the accused was charged and said "no reply" after caution. The accused was remanded in custody. No bail application can be made at District Court level on a murder charge.

Judge Walsh also granted legal aid in the case after gardai made no objections. The defendant did not address the court during the brief hearing and will appear again later this week.

Mr Sweeney was a talented commercial and graphic artist but it is understood he had been out of work for a period and in receipt of disability benefit.

Tributes were paid by members of his former club, St Mary's, where his two nephews Richie and Robert still play. Mr Sweeney was described as a "lovely man, a fine rugby player".

Irish Independent

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