Man appears in court charged over horror stabbing of parents

Conor Dreelan is charged with assault causing harm

Andrew Phelan

This is the man charged with assaulting and seriously in- juring his parents in a knife attack at their home in north Dublin.

Conor Dreelan (25) appeared before Dublin District Court yesterday morning charged over the stabbing in Darndale at the weekend.

His father and mother, David Dignam and Phyliss Dreelan, suffered serious injuries and are being treated in Beaumont Hospital.

Judge Colin Daly remanded the accused in custody after no bail application was made on his behalf.

Mr Dreelan is charged with two counts of assault causing harm, as well as producing a large kitchen knife as a weapon at the house at Snowdrop Walk last Saturday.

Det Gda Michael McCabe said he was arrested at 7.37am on Saturday and taken to Coolock Garda Station, where he was detained at 8.04am.

Following an examination, he was deemed to require medical attention for an injury to his hand and was taken to hospital at 10.26am.

Mr Dreelan was returned to the garda station at 1.55pm and detained for two interviews.

His period of detention was extended and his interviews concluded at 11.03pm.

Mr Dreelan was released from the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act at 11.10pm, re-arrested at 11.12pm and formally charged at 11.46pm.

He made no reply to any of the charges after caution and was handed copies of the charge sheets.

The defence solicitor made no bail application.


The accused was initially named Conor Dignam on the charge sheets, but at the request of the defence the judge amended the surname to Dreelan.

"He goes by the two names, and during arrest and detention it was Dreelan," the solicitor said.

Det Gda McCabe said there was a file to be prepared for the DPP and a possibility there would be additional charges.

Judge Daly granted free legal aid after hearing that the accused, a forklift driver, had a two-year-old child and was earning €150 a week.

Asked to direct medical attention for the accused in custody, Judge Daly told the defence lawyer that Mr Dreelan had already received attention, had been in custody for two days and he was sure the prison authorities would "look after that in due course".

The accused remained silent throughout the brief hearing.

He was remanded in custody, to appear in Cloverhill District Court on June 23.

Gardai believe the couple were sleeping on a couch in a downstairs room at around 7am before the alleged assault took place.

Mr Dignam, who is aged in his 40s, was stabbed at least 10 times in the neck, shoulder and chest, while Ms Dreelan, who is in her 50s, also suffered knife wounds.

Mr Dignam had initially been described as being in a critical condition in hospital and Ms Dreelan as having sustained injuries that were not life-threatening.

However, Mr Dignam's condition has since been upgraded to stable.