Friday 20 July 2018

Man stabbed to death 'in front of crowd' in pub after watching World Cup match

Patrick ‘Pa’ O’Connor, who was stabbed at Fitzgerald’s Bar in
Limerick. Photo: Press 22
Patrick ‘Pa’ O’Connor, who was stabbed at Fitzgerald’s Bar in Limerick. Photo: Press 22

David Raleigh

A young man was fatally stabbed in front of a crowd of onlookers in a Limerick pub where he had earlier been watching the World Cup, gardaí believe.

Patrick 'Pa' O'Connor, from Kileely, Limerick city, was stabbed by another man in Fitzgerald's Bar, in Thomondgate, at around 11.55pm on Saturday.

The 24-year-old was pronounced dead at University Hospital Limerick in the early hours of Sunday.

Senior gardaí investigating the fatal stabbing said they had begun a murder enquiry.

Appealing for witnesses, Superintendent Derek Smart, who is leading the investigation, said: "There were a large number of people within the public house [Saturday] evening [watching] two World Cup games.

"A number of people have come forward and we have actively interviewed them and taken statements from them, and I'd like to thank them for coming forward to us."

However, Supt Smart added that "a number of other people haven't come forward yet, and we are seeking their assistance to tell us what they saw within the public house".

A post-mortem on Mr O'Connor's body is to be carried out by Deputy State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster today.

Supt Smart said: "It's obviously a very trying time for the [victim's] family and we are liaising closely with the family. I would ask that they be given the freedom to grieve."

Gardaí have taken CCTV footage from Fitzgerald's Bar, however, it was unclear if the killing was caught on camera.

Mr O'Connor was rushed from the pub on Saturday night by ambulance to University Hospital Limerick where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Motive

Supt Smart said they were still trying to confirm a motive and that forensic officers were at the pub looking for evidence to the killer's identity.

Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan, who lives close to where the killing occurred, said the community was "in shock".

"Fitzgerald's Bar is my local pub. I live about 200 yards from it," he said.

"I would encourage anyone who may have any information, no matter how small they think it might be, to forward that information to the gardaí."

An armed Garda support unit was also deployed in the early stages of the investigation.

Locals who gathered in shock at the scene said they were "horrified", "disgusted", and "frightened".

Supt Smart confirmed that no arrests had yet been made.

Anyone with information has been asked to contact Mayorstone garda station on 061 456980, or call the Garda Confidential number on 1800 666 111.

Irish Independent

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