| 3.7°C Dublin

Boxer stabbed to death with samurai sword in mob attack


A forensics expert covers a vehicle at the scene in Avonbeg Gardens in Tallaght yesterday

A forensics expert covers a vehicle at the scene in Avonbeg Gardens in Tallaght yesterday

Karl Holmes

Karl Holmes


A forensics expert covers a vehicle at the scene in Avonbeg Gardens in Tallaght yesterday

A row between teenagers over a bike led to a 45-year-old man being beaten and stabbed to death with a samurai sword by a mob in a horror attack in Tallaght.

The victim, former boxer Karl Holmes, was attacked in the Avonbeg Gardens estate shortly before 5.30pm yesterday.

It is understood that Holmes, a well-known local criminal from Homelawn Drive in Tallaght, arrived in the area around the corner from his home to settle a bitter dispute that had originally started when a group of teenagers had got in a row over a bike.


Sources said Holmes was planning to confront associates of a dissident republican over the alleged attack on a male teenager when he was murdered.

Gardai are investigating whether a woman known to the victim had also been assaulted before Holmes arrived in the estate.

Holmes was attacked with a samurai sword as well as blunt instruments in an attack that lasted for a number of minutes.

He received a number of serious injuries to his body and was pronounced dead in Tallaght Hospital at around 6pm.

Neighbours said that Holmes, who was a father of young children, was a talented boxer in his youth and previously represented Ireland.

He had been jailed for five years for causing grievous bodily harm to a teenager, who died three days after being headbutted.

The then-21-year-old took his victim, Thomas Weekes (19), to his home after the assault to have his injury cleaned up.

After being released from jail for this crime, Holmes continued to have brushes with the law, including being jailed for a year in October 2009 for being part of a "cartel" that defrauded the Revenue of almost €53,000.

Last night, residents in Avonbeg Gardens said that they saw the aftermath of the horrific incident.

A 34-year-old woman told the Herald she saw two women trying to help the victim as he lay unconscious on the roadway.

"A lot of people had gathered around where it happened. I could see the man lying on the road," she said. "There were two women kneeling beside him trying to help him. They had put a jumper or a jacket under his head to try and make him comfortable."

Neighbours in Homelawn Drive, where the victim's parents have lived for decades, said their thoughts are with his family. "I've known him since he was a little boy growing up. He came from a very nice family," one neighbour said. "He was great for visiting his mother and father.

"And our hearts go out to his own children, who are still very young. He was a boxer for Ireland when he was younger."