Saturday 24 February 2018

Man (30s) 'viciously assaulted' by gang and run over by car 'in front of playing children'

Victim Stephen Lynch
Victim Stephen Lynch

Alan O'Keeffe & Robin Schiller

Shocked residents spoke today of their deep concern and sadness at the brutal killing of a young father by a gang who savagely beat him before he was deliberately run over with a car.

Crime scene garda tape cordoned off a large section of Brookview Close in Tallaght in Dublin today where the callous killing of Stephen Lynch happened at 7pm yesterday.

The victim, aged in his early 30s, from the nearby Glenshane area of Tallaght, died at the scene.

Mr Lynch was attacked by a number of men, who drove over him with a car when he tried to flee the area.

Eye witnesses said that the victim was "dragged halfway up the road" by the vehicle during the attack.

The car used in the fatal assault was left at the scene and will be forensically examined by gardaí.

One of the males seen fleeing the scene also dropped a mobile phone, which will also be examined by gardaí.

Locals in the Brookview estate were forced to lift the car off Mr Lynch as he lay fatally injured on the ground.

"People are very upset.  It happened in front of children who were playing in the area," said a 36-year-old father of one on Friday morning.

"When I heard the commotion I went to see what was happening.  The man was lying trapped underneath a car and people were shouting 'He's under the car, he's under the car.'

Flowers at the scene of the killing of Stephen Lynch at Brookview Close, Tallaght this morning Credit: Tony Gavin
Flowers at the scene of the killing of Stephen Lynch at Brookview Close, Tallaght this morning Credit: Tony Gavin
The scene last night Picture: Caroline Quinn

"Then around 15 people lifted the car off the body and they dragged him out from under it.

"There were marks where the car had drove along the road with the body trapped underneath it.

"When they got him out someone came and put a blanket over him while people called for an ambulance.

"It was an awful thing to happen to such a young man," he said.

"The ambulance came after 10 minutes but I think there was nothing they could do for him," he said.

Investigating detectives have yet to establish a definitive motive for the killing.

One line of inquiry being looked at is that the attack is linked to an ongoing dispute in the local area.

The scene of the killing was shrouded in an early morning silence.  A bearded young man arrived with a bouquet of flowers and asked the uniformed gardai on duty where he could place the flowers.

He was shown to a corner of the street beside the garda cordon where he placed his bouquet which had a brief written message 'Stephen, You'll be sorely missed.'

"He was a very nice guy. We were the same age or maybe he was a year older," said the 32-year-old friend.

"I've known him since we were kids," he said.

A 37-year-old mother of three said: "I was awake half the night thinking about it. It's terrible. My children are normally out playing but luckily they weren't there last night.

"It's shocking. I'm very sad for his family. Hopefully they'll get whose responsible," she said.

Fianna Fail councillor Charlie O'Connor said "I was at the scene last night. People are deeply shocked.  The whole community feel great sympathy for his family.

"It's a terrible thing to happen on Holy Thursday. I would ask people to cooperate fully with gardai who are seeking witnesses to what happened. It was truly appalling," he said.

Sinn Fein Councillor. Cathal King went on social media to declare: "A young man Stephen Lynch who I have known for more than a decade and his mother...

"They murdered poor Stephen....he was a harmless young man who hadn't a bad bone in his body," he stated.

He denounced the killing as "despicable" and said he had "a type of friendship" with the victim.

Gardaí are appealing for any witnesses to come forward.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Tallaght Garda Station on 01-666 6000.

Irish Independent

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