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Saturday 17 March 2018

'I was so scared' - Mother's terror as gang smashes car into home after fatal stabbing of Karl Haugh

  • Mother speaks of terror after attack in which hammer was thrown through bedroom window

  • Gang smashes car into home of suspect in fatal stabbing

Julie Counihan outside her home in Island View, Kilrush.
Julie Counihan outside her home in Island View, Kilrush.

Ian Begley

A gang smashed their car into the home of one of the suspects arrested for the fatal stabbing of a 25-year-old man.

The vandalised house in Island View, Kilrush, was targeted by three young men at around 9.30am yesterday, in a reprisal attack following the murder of Karl Haugh.

Karl Haugh, who was stabbed to death in Kilkee, Co Clare
Karl Haugh, who was stabbed to death in Kilkee, Co Clare

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Julie Counihan said that two of her sons were in the house at the time - the 21-year-old suspect Robbie Walsh, who was arrested and later charged over the stabbing of Mr Haugh, as well as her 17-year-old son.

During the incident, a sitting room and upper bedroom window were broken.

There was also significant damage to the suspect's front door.

The owner of the house, a mother of three, suffered minor injuries to her foot. The family's pet dog suffered cuts to his paws.

Ms Counihan was asleep and was woken by "an awful lot of shouting" from outside.

"When I looked out my window, I saw three young men and asked them 'what the hell is going on?' I know these lads very well and they were shouting for me to come out.

"I hadn't a clue what they wanted, but you could tell they were under the influence of some drug.

"I could see it in their eyes," she said.

Damage to Julie Counihan's home.
Damage to Julie Counihan's home.
Damage to Julie Counihan's home.

Ms Counihan said that the assault on her home began when someone threw a hammer through her bedroom window.

"I got such a fright. The entire room was covered in glass and one of my dogs had his paw completely ripped open.

"My foot was also cut and I still can't get the shards out of it," she said.

"Someone else then picked up my flower pot and threw it right at my front door.

"I thought that was the end of it.

"But when I looked out the window again, I saw one of them getting into his car, a blue BMW.

"He started the engine, picked up speed and drove it straight at my sitting room window. The glass instantly shattered, but luckily the bottom part of my house stopped the car from going into the sitting room.

"The bench in front of the window was also completely destroyed by the impact. I was so scared and my hand was shaking so much that I couldn't even use the phone to ring the guards," she said.


Once he heard the commotion, the 21-year-old ran downstairs to confront the three men, but they went back to their damaged car and drove away.

"I'm so scared for my son and haven't been able to see or talk to him since," said Ms Counihan.

"I feel this is all a dream and that I could wake up at any minute."

The Kilrush mother said she now feared for her safety.

"I'm so scared at the thoughts of what might happen and don't know what's around the corner. My house is totally destroyed."

Gardaí said that no one was arrested in relation to the incident.

Supt John Galvin, of Kilrush Garda Station, said gardaí believe the incident was linked to the attack in Kilkee, Co Clare, on Sunday morning.

Mr Haugh was stabbed on the Marion Estate, Kilkee, at about 1.15am on Sunday.

Irish Independent

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