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Monday 18 December 2017

Gang stabs young man to death

Hunt on for four attackers after 19-year-old victim chased and killed

Patricia McDonagh and Tom Brady

A MURDER hunt was under way last night after a young man was stabbed up to five times with a knife after being chased by a gang into an apartment complex.

Four attackers left victim David Byrne (19) in a pool of blood after he had desperately tried to escape from them across a bridge over the Grand Canal in Inchicore, Dublin.

Last night detectives were trying to establish a motive for the savage attack.

Mr Byrne was known to the gardai as being associated with criminals. But he was not a major figure, and had no connections with gangland.

Gardai believe he had clashed with a gang of local thugs earlier on Saturday night.

Mr Byrne, who lived with his mother at Davitt House in Inchicore, was chased by his attackers across the canal and into St Vincent's Street West before attempting to seek refuge in the Emmet Court apartment complex.

But the gang caught up with him in the car park at around 10.30pm and stabbed him four or five times in the body with a knife.

An ambulance was called and he was taken to St James's Hospital. But he was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

Mr Byrne's uncle Bill Hayes said the death was a blow for his family. "David was 6 foot 2 and a lovely young fella," he told RTE News. "He was into DJ-ing and a bit of Gaelic. He was DJ-ing out in a few places in Finglas. He had also applied to FAS for a course. Everyone is devastated. His mother is fairly sick at the moment."

It is believed Mr Byrne's attackers, who wore hooded tops, initially attacked him shortly after 10pm on the Drimnagh side of the Grand Canal near the Davitt House estate.

Garda Supt John Gilligan last night appealed for anyone who witnessed the attack or saw the chase to come forward.

"We would like to hear from anyone who saw four or five young men running fast over the bridge on the canal into the apartment complex area. This would have been an unusual sight at that time of the night and we are anxious to speak to people who were in the area," he added.

The gang, believed to be aged in their late teens or early 20s, fled the area on foot.

Gardai carried out a detailed search of the area and recovered a number of items. A post-mortem is to be carried out today.

Nigerian native Adebayo Adeba (21), who also lives near the apartment block, was left reeling after he saw Mr Byrne's body after the stabbing.

"I had seen this guy once or twice before when he was going over to his friends in Emmet Court,"he said. "People are already very fearful. I had to walk my neighbour home because she is too frightened to walk alone. This has left me even more scared."

Local TD Joan Collins, of the People Before Profit group, said residents in the Drimnagh and Inchicore area where shocked by the killing of Mr Byrne. "It just sounds like another mindless killing. Our thoughts are with the family concerned," she said.

However, one man living near the Emmet Court apartment block said the murder was just the latest in a long line of serious incidents in the area.

He refused to be named, insisting he was in fear of some of those living near him. "There is always trouble along the canal," he claimed.

Mr Byrne lived with his mother in a flat in the Davitt House estate and yesterday neighbours said they were saddened at his death.

The murder happened two days after a 48-year-old man died following an assault on St Patrick's Day.

Joseph Connolly from Poppintree on the northside of the city, died in Beaumont Hospital from head injuries sustained during the attack by at least two men outside a pharmacy on the Ballymun Road.

Irish Independent

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