Monday 18 December 2017

Man held over violent stabbing of popular dad of two

Murdered: Martin Purcell
Murdered: Martin Purcell

Kathryn Hayes

A MAN in his 30s was in custody in Limerick last night in connection with the murder of a father of two who suffered multiple stab wounds in a frenzied knife attack.

The body of Martin Purcell, pictured above, was found in his rented flat in Wickham Street in Limerick city last Friday. The 54-year-old suffered multiple injuries, including a stab wound to his neck.

The man was being questioned about the murder at Henry Street garda station last night. It is understood a number of items, including the possible murder weapon, were also recovered over the weekend.

The crime scene was extended yesterday to Upper Gerald Griffin Street, where a property in that area was also sealed off as part of the inquiry.

Gardai are still working to establish a motive for the murder, which may have taken place up to 24 hours before the body was found.

The victim, who had never come to the attention of the gardai before, was last seen in the Wickham Street area on Wednesday and it is understood that the middle of last week is a critical focal point in the investigation.

Gardai have confirmed that there was no sign of forced entry to Mr Purcell's flat, which suggests he might have known his assailant.

Superintendent Frank O'Brien, who is leading the murder inquiry, described the murder victim, who worked for many years with Eircom, as a popular member of the local community.

"Martin was a well-liked member of the community. He comes from a very well-known family here in Limerick and worked all his life," Supt O'Brien said.

Friends of Mr Purcell, who was separated for many years, described him as a "popular, generous man" who enjoyed a few pints.

His removal will take place from Crosses funeral home tomorrow at 7.30pm.

Funeral Mass will take place at 11am on Wednesday at St Brigid's Church with burial afterwards in Mount Street Lawrence cemetery extension.

Irish Independent

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