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Sunday 21 October 2018

Father-of-one stabbed to death after 'row over woman'

Victim: Robert Elston (Photo: Independent.ie)
Victim: Robert Elston (Photo: Independent.ie)

Sinead Kelleher and Ian Begley

A row over a woman is believed to be behind the murder of a father-of-one.

The victim, who has been named locally as Robert Elston (33), was stabbed at a house in Fertha Drive, Cahersiveen, Co Kerry, in the early hours of yesterday morning.

A 20-year-old was arrested immediately after the stabbing and was last night in custody.

Both the suspect and the victim are known to gardaí.

Garda forensics at the house on Fertha Drive in Cahersiveen where Robert Elston was discovered after being stabbed. Photo: Frank McGrath
Garda forensics at the house on Fertha Drive in Cahersiveen where Robert Elston was discovered after being stabbed. Photo: Frank McGrath

It is understood that a row broke out between the two men when Mr Elston arrived at the suspect's house wielding a weapon and threatening the suspect before setting fire to a vehicle in front of the house.

Mr Elston was fatally stabbed at another residence in the same housing estate.

A weapon was recovered on wasteland on the housing estate and is being forensically examined.

Gardaí and the emergency services were called to the housing estate about 5am.

It is understood Mr Elston died on the way to University Hospital Kerry.

Four scenes were cordoned off and were technically examined - one of which was the scene of the stabbing.

A local, who did not wish to be named, said they were "horrified" by what had happened.

Read More: Murder brings back memories of 'awful times'

"We are shocked and really upset that somebody lost a life down here, but we could see that something like this would happen."

The residents have complained to Kerry County Council and local gardaí about ongoing anti-social behaviour in the estate.

One resident told how they were woken by "roaring and shouting" in the early hours of yesterday. They said such rows were commonplace.

"I didn't know there was a stabbing, but they were going at it hammer and tongs," they said.

"There has been trouble going on here for a while, there is no let-up. We have contacted gardaí and the local authority. The estate is gone to wreck and ruin."

Mr Elston, the father of a six-year-old son, is understood to be from Croagh, Lisselton in north Kerry. He is believed to have been visiting his son's mother at the time of the incident.

The man arrested is said to have grown up in the area and was known to the victim.

He was taken to Killarney garda station and was last night still being held.

He also received medical attention in custody.

Residents in the housing estate spoke of their shock.

"It's just so sad," said one woman.

"I didn't hear a thing but once I stepped outside my house the following morning I knew something terrible had happened.

"When I found out that someone was killed, my heart dropped because I knew that he must be a local.

"I'm just so surprised this has happened - you never see the likes of a murder happening in this part of the country."

Another resident of Fertha Drive told the Irish Independent that Mr Elston's son had yet to be told the tragic news.

"He's playing with the other children on the road at the moment and doesn't even understand what all the fuss is about," she said.

"My heart really goes out to him - his mum hasn't even broken the news to him yet.

"She must be absolutely devastated.

"I can't even imagine what she's going through," she added.

Parish priest Fr Larry Kelly expressed his condolences to Mr Elston's family.

"The whole town is in a state of shock," he told the Irish Independent.

"Of course my prayers and respects go to this poor man's family and friends and to all those who knew him.

"I'm sure the community will do whatever they can for them during this very sad time."

Irish Independent

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