Tuesday 16 January 2018

Three held as man stabbed to death with kitchen knife

Garda forensic officers examine a home at Sandfield Mews, Ennis, Co Clare, where a fatal stabbing took place
Garda forensic officers examine a home at Sandfield Mews, Ennis, Co Clare, where a fatal stabbing took place

Caroline Crawford and Tom Brady

A MAN was stabbed to death with a kitchen knife after a row erupted at a drinks party in a quiet apartment complex.

Last night gardai were questioning three men, including two brothers, after recovering the suspected murder weapon.

Polish victim, Piotr Nowakowski (31), was stabbed twice in the side during the incident early yesterday and died on the way to hospital.

He had been drinking earlier in the apartment at Sandfield Mews in Ennis, Co Clare, with two friends when the brothers called shortly before 1am. A row broke out shortly afterwards over drink and Mr Nowakowski was stabbed.

Another member of the group, a local man from Ennis, tried to avoid the row and jumped out of a second floor window, breaking his ankle.

Gardai were alerted and when they arrived they arrested the brothers, who are members of the Travelling community, aged 21 and 39, and another Polish man, who is in his 40s.

Mr Nowakowski, who was single, had lived and worked in Shannon for several years. But he had moved to Ennis in recent weeks after losing his job and was staying with friends in the apartment.

Gardai made contact with the victim's sister, who lives in Ennis, and assisted her with getting in touch with their family in Poland.

Paramedics had battled to stabilise Mr Nowakowski as they rushed to Shannon where a helicopter was on standby to take him to Cork University Hospital. However, he died en route.

INJURIES

"We had planned to utilise the Coast Guard helicopter but unfortunately he died and was not able to make that journey," said Garda Supt Derek Smart.

The three men were questioned throughout yesterday at Ennis and Shannon garda stations under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act. They can be held for up to 24 hours, excluding rest periods.

Gardai carried out forensic searches at the apartment complex and surrounding shrubs and gardens and also completed door-to-door inquiries. A large section of the square remained sealed off throughout the day.

Locals in the area told of their shock at the death. Ronan Nalty (35) described how he was awoken by screams and shouts shortly before 2am.

"I heard a bit of screaming and shouting. I looked out the front door and saw people running and cops arriving. Then I heard that somebody had been stabbed and I couldn't believe it. There would be fights and stuff at times around here but never anything like this."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Ennis gardai on 065-6848100 or the garda confidential line on 1800-666-111.

Irish Independent

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