Wednesday 24 October 2018

'Deep regret and profound sadness' at tragic death of Japanese worker

Garda searching a vacant property on Avenue Road in Dundalk, Co Louth
Garda searching a vacant property on Avenue Road in Dundalk, Co Louth

Conor Feehan and Cormac McQuinn

The chief executive of the company where stab victim Yosuke Sasaki worked has spoken of his "deep regret and profound sadness".

The Japanese man died after being stabbed shortly before 9am on Wednesday, while two other men were injured on two other nearby streets.

Chief executive Peter Kelly said Mr Sasaki had only joined the National Pen company, which specialises in personalised marketing merchandise, last August. But he had made a positive impact during his relatively short time with the contact centre.

"It is with deep regret and profound sadness we confirm the death of our colleague in Wednesday's incident in Dundalk," said Peter Kelly.

Yosuke Sasaki (24)
Yosuke Sasaki (24)

"Senior management and wider colleagues extend their sincere condolences to the family and friends of the deceased, and have been liaising directly with the Japanese Embassy.

"This is a time of profound sadness for management and staff. We will do everything possible to assist the family at this tragic time," he added.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar was briefed on the incident by Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan and that gardaí had not found any evidence of a terrorist link.

He said: "We're still trying to find out the details as to how the person became present in Ireland and what interaction they had with the immigration services."

Mr Varadkar expressed his condolences to the family of the victim.

"I understand he's a man that came to work in Ireland just over a year ago. I think it must be a very difficult time for his family.

"I also obviously want to extend my best wishes to the people who have been injured," said the Taoiseach.

Mr Varadkar also praised gardaí "for acting so swiftly, for dealing with the attack within 45 minutes and I'm sure preventing further loss of life and further injury and I think that was really important."

The spot where Mr Sasaki was stabbed to death has become a growing shrine of flowers and gifts.

On Avenue Road, on the outskirts of Dundalk town, locals said they saw gardaí leaving flowers alongside bouquets left by friends.

"Life taken too early, under such tragic circumstances," said a message on one of the many bouquets at the site.

A small can of tinned coffee from Japan was also left at the scene.

A number of Japanese journalists have travelled to Dundalk to cover the story.

"This will be an important story in the area where the victim is from," said Shogo Takagi, the Kyodo News London correspondent.

Not far away, on the corner of Avenue Road and the inner link road, gardaí had sealed off a semi-derelict house where the suspect is believed to have been squatting before the attacks.

It is not known how long he may have been living there.

Neighbours said they did not see anyone coming or going from the house in recent days.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News