GARDAI are investigating if a man was murdered by a love rival who left him with multiple stab wounds to the head, neck, chest and back.
Gerard McMahon (43) was found bleeding heavily on the steps of a terraced house on the southside of Limerick city in the early hours of yesterday.
It is believed that he sought sanctuary at a friend's home in Lenihan Avenue, Prospect, around 12.30am, after being repeatedly stabbed moments earlier. He collapsed at the entrance to the house.
The occupant of the home -- Joe McEvoy -- pulled McMahon into the house and attempted to assist the wounded man.
An ambulance rushed him to the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Dooradoyle, but he was pronounced dead a short time later.
One theory that gardai are investigating is whether McMahon -- a well-known burglar -- was murdered by another man known to him who took offence at a relationship McMahon had with a woman from the city.
It is understood that the suspected assailant -- a young criminal -- was jealous of the victim's relationship with the woman.
Residents in the area said yesterday that the murder victim had been spotted with the woman on several occasions recently.
Investigating officers are examining CCTV footage from homes along Lenihan Avenue. A search of the area for the murder weapon started yesterday evening will continue today.
The property next door to where McMahon collapsed is equipped with two security cameras. McMahon was at his family home in the nearby Raheen Square in the hours before the attack.
The victim -- known locally as 'Gerry Troy' -- had recorded up to 50 convictions, mainly for burglary and public order offences.
At their home yesterday, the victim's sisters, Marian and Sarah, were attempting to come to terms with their brother's murder. The victim was the son of Kathleen and Joseph McMahon, who had nine daughters and 10 sons.
"They must have been waiting for him or watching him. He was stabbed in the back," said Sarah. "He just went up and fell against Joe's door. Ger never talked to him -- he couldn't.
"He just pointed to his side as Joe was trying to bring him in the door. Joe took off his coat and saw all the stab wounds all over the back."
Sarah said her brother was harmless but got himself into trouble when drinking.
The mayor of Limerick, Jim Long, said he grew up near the McMahons and commiserated with them on their loss. He called on those responsible to give themselves up to gardai.