Wednesday 17 October 2018

Sportsman (35) allegedly stabbed to death in row over Christmas spending

Willie Lynch's brother Gerry (29) being questioned by gardaí

Gardai are investigating the death of a man in the village of Pallaskenry, Co Limerick. Photograph Liam Burke Press 22 Inset: Willie Lynch
Gardai are investigating the death of a man in the village of Pallaskenry, Co Limerick. Photograph Liam Burke Press 22 Inset: Willie Lynch

Ralph Riegel and David Raleigh

Gardaí believe the fatal stabbing of a popular sportsman was triggered by a trivial dispute over Christmas spending.

William 'Willie' Lynch's younger brother Gerry (29) was last night being held, as the death is being treated as murder by Limerick gardaí.

Over Christmas, William had kindly agreed to help care for his brother Gerry, also known as George, who it is understood have battled serious mental health problems.

William (35), a well-known pool and darts player, was found with serious stab wounds at his home on the main street of Pallaskenry, Co Limerick, at 5pm on Saturday.

Despite desperate efforts by paramedics, Mr Lynch was pronounced dead at the scene.

Gardaí later sealed off four areas as potential crime scenes - William Lynch's blood-stained home, a local supermarket and two other Pallaskenry properties. Several areas were examined for what were understood to be blood spatters.

It is also understood that minor damage was caused to one of the scenes.

A short time later, the 29-year-old man was arrested and taken to Newcastlewest garda station for questioning.

His period of detention was extended yesterday and can be further extended by gardaí if required.

One source indicated that he was co-operating fully with the Garda investigation.

the scene in Pallaskenry, Co Limerick, yesterday, where Helen (in blue), the mother of Willie Lynch, wept openly surrounded by friends and family. Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22
the scene in Pallaskenry, Co Limerick, yesterday, where Helen (in blue), the mother of Willie Lynch, wept openly surrounded by friends and family. Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22

A post-mortem examination at UHL by Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster confirmed that William Lynch died as a result of stab injuries to the torso.

The weapon used is believed to have been a large bladed knife.

The deceased had sustained multiple stab injuries in what one garda source said was a frenzied attack.

The man being questioned under arrest is Mr Lynch's brother Gerry, who was said to be distraught when taken into custody.

The victim William ‘Willie’ Lynch
The victim William ‘Willie’ Lynch

One Garda source indicated that it is believed the dispute was sparked by a minor disagreement about Christmas spending.

"The indications are that it was a relatively minor issue that suddenly and tragically spiralled out of hand," he said.

It is understood that William Lynch was attacked with such speed that he was unable to defend himself or escape from his home to flee to safety.

The attacker left the property immediately after the attack.

Gardaí were later informed that a man was spotted walking in Pallaskenry, with blood spatters all over his clothing.

Multiple tributes have been paid to the deceased, who was scheduled to host a charity pool tournament in aid of a Milford hospice on Saturday night.

He was well known for his involvement in football, pool and darts.

Brian Barry, one of Mr Lynch's best friends, said his death had left the village shocked.

"I'm just numb. It doesn't feel real. I was chatting to him all over the Christmas and we were looking forward to the new year. Now it's all over," he said.

A local businessman, who asked to be unnamed, said Mr Lynch had "a heart of gold" and was a staunch supporter of both sporting and community groups.

"Willie couldn't do enough for you. There wasn't a person around here that he wouldn't do a good turn for."

Gardaí have now appealed for anyone who spotted suspicious activity in Pallaskenry on Saturday to contact them.

A statement released last night said: "Following the conclusion of a post-mortem examination ... investigating gardaí at Newcastle West have now launched a murder investigation. A 29-year-old man arrested in connection with this investigation remains in custody."

Anyone with information is asked to contact gardaí on (061) 393102 or the Garda Confidential Line on (1800) 666111.

Irish Independent

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