Man is bludgeoned to death 'with a hammer or heavy bar after row'

John Lowe was found unconscious at this bungalow on the Coolfin Meadows estate in Portlaw

Ralph Riegel and Ian Begley

A man has died in hospital after being bludgeoned over the head yesterday with what gardai believe was a hammer or heavy bar.

The 53-year-old, named loc- ally as John Lowe, was found unconscious in a bungalow in Co Waterford.

He died later in University Hospital Waterford.

Gardai have launched a murder investigation.

A post-mortem examination will be conducted today, but it is understood the injuries were caused by a heavy implement.

Mr Lowe was unconscious when emergency services arrived at a property on the Coolfin Meadows estate in Portlaw, around 20km from Waterford city.

Gardai and paramedics were called to the area shortly before 3pm following reports that a man had been injured following what was described as "a confrontation".

A Waterford man in his 20s was arrested at the scene and taken to Tramore Garda Station where he was being questioned last night.

Mr Lowe was rushed to hospital in a critical condition. Despite attempts to stabilise his condition, he was pronounced dead a short time later.

The murder scene remained cordoned off pending a forensic examination by members of the Garda Technical Bureau.

Gardai began door-to-door enquiries to determine if anyone had heard or seen anything suspicious in the hours before the man's death.

Locals expressed shock at the violent incident.

The area has been described by residents as being extremely quiet.

It is understood the arrested man was known to Mr Lowe, but they are not related.


Local councillor John O'Leary told the Herald that it was "a very sad day" for the people of Co Waterford.

"It's such a terrible and shocking thing to have happened," he said.

"Portlaw is such a very quiet, respected area in Waterford.

"It's very upsetting that a man from this community had to die in this way.

"Although I didn't know him, my heart and prayers go to his family and loved ones."