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Wednesday 19 June 2019

'We're terrified this may start the process that will let him free' - family of murdered Polish man react to killer's day release

David Curran in Clondalkin and inset, murder victims Pawel Kalite, left (26), and Mariusz Szwajkos (27)
David Curran in Clondalkin and inset, murder victims Pawel Kalite, left (26), and Mariusz Szwajkos (27)
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

The family of a Polish man who was murdered in Dublin with his friend in 2008 have reacted with shock that his killer has been granted day-release and is now eligible for parole.

Double murderer David Curran (28) has been granted an outing from prison to meet his family – just nine years into a double life sentence for stabbing two Polish mechanics, Marius Szwajkos (27) and Pawel Kalite (28) in Drimnagh in 2010.

He was photographed by the Sunday World on Sunday May 12 at a church-owned building in Clondalkin meeting with his family for eight hours.

Curran's trial was told of how the two young mechanics had come to this country to make a better life for themselves and their families, only to be murdered by teenager Curran.

Curran, who was 17 at the time, used a screwdriver to stab both men through the head – the tip of the screwdriver entering through their temples.

Reacting to the news that Curran tasted freedom to meet his family, Mariusz’s sister Malgorzata has said she is “deeply upset and overwhelmed with the news”

“We are terrified with the possibility that this may start the process that will let him go free,” she told Independent.ie.

“This is adding enormous pain to the struggle we go through every day. Living a life without Mariusz for over 10 years is like permanent effort to stay afloat. But it’s not and will never be a happy, carefree life,” she added.

“The news come only a few days after Mariusz’s 41 birthday.  We are supposed to have a joyful, family celebration. What we have instead is candles on his grave and terrible sadness and grief, longing for all those moments with him that we were taken away,” said Malgorzata.

“The news comes only days before Mother's Day here in Poland. Mariusz will not be there for her on that da, but also he is not here to hold her hand at times she needs him the most. We will not be granted a single day with him. Never again,” she explained.

“All of this is because of the senseless act of absolutely incomprehensible brutality and because of lack of respect for any values, most of all the highest value  - life,” she added.

“We cannot reconcile with it. We cannot get over this. We as Mariusz's family, but also as human beings it is our responsibility to say NO,” said Malgorzata.

“I have two beautiful boys. They will miss uncle Mariusz for their whole life. A beautiful young man, hardworking, honest and a loving son and brother.  There will be no hugs, no giggling, no shared time, no celebration together,” she added.

“My oldest is old enough to keep asking me every time we visit Mariusz in the cemetery: ‘What happened to uncle Mariusz?’. And I’m not able to find proper words,” she explained.

“In my life I try to follow my parents’ paths. I’m trying to teach my boys what is good and what is bad and that they need to take consequences for their actions.

“That's what I believe because that is the most valuable lesson that our parents gave us. That's why Mariusz was a most beautiful young man,” said Malgorzata 

“So I’m taking this opportunity to say strong and loud ‘NO’ to the worst possible act of violence - taking another person’s life. Especially when at the same time this act tore two families apart and destroyed our normal life forever,”

“And that's why again, I want to say strong and loud NO to underestimating what happened, and reducing the consequences.  It is TOO soon,” she added.

Curran carried out the horrific killings on February 23, 2008, outside the men’s rented accommodation on Benbulben Road following an earlier altercation involving Pawel and Curran’s father, convicted tiger kidnapper Michael McGuirk.

Pawel, a mechanic with Ace Autobody in Dublin, had walked down to the Drimnagh Takeaway when he was bumped into by one of a group of teens loitering outside.

Pawel chased after the boy, prompting a scuffle, when suddenly a car pulled up and Michael McGuirk got out.

He grabbed Pawel by the throat, telling him to leave the teenager alone. Pawel was knocked to the ground and kicked and punched by some of the teenagers before a bystander intervened and Pawel returned home.

Meanwhile a girl who was outside the chipper when the row occurred phoned David Curran, and minutes later he appeared, armed with a screwdriver.

Curran had spent the day drinking and taking a mix of prescription drugs and cannabis with several other teenagers down at a nearby canal.

Earlier they had stolen a moped from outside a pub and torched it after taking two bottles of wine and the murder weapon, a black and orange Philips screwdriver, from the seat compartment.

When Curran got the call, he was with another friend.

Pawel, Mariusz and another housemate, Kamila, were in the garden when the teens arrived. According to numerous witnesses Curran ran towards the Polish friends with the screwdriver held up at head height.

Kamila ducked to avoid the first blow, but Pawel, standing beside her, was not so lucky. He fell to the ground when the screwdriver pierced his skull at the temple, driving deep into his brain, leaving irreparable damage.

As Mariusz jumped over the fence to help his injured friend, Curran swung the screwdriver again, inflicting an almost identical wound, and with just as devastating consequences.

Curran’s defence was one of provocation. He claimed that he had been told Pawel had stabbed his father and had been out of control on the volatile cocktail of drink and drugs.

But the jury rejected this defence and convicted Curran unanimously for the murder of Pawel, while finding him guilty of the murder of Mariusz by a majority of 11 to one.

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