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Chased, rammed, then stabbed to death for helping a pregnant pal

A young hero's murder has left Dubliners in shock.

Warren O'Connor (24) was knifed through the heart, simply for coming to a pregnant woman's aid.

She and her partner had been terrorised by a noisy party in their apartment block and asked Warren to intercede.

But the killing was also a terrible reminder of just how violent our streets have become.

Sources said ex-soldier Warren was stabbed in front of the pregnant mother and her child.

He had gone to the assistance of the pal who had argued with neighbours over loud music at a Donaghmede apartment block. He was travelling in a car with the woman, her three-year-old son and partner when their vehicle was rammed close to the complex on Hole In The Wall Road.

Warren, a talented soccer player from Coolock, North Dublin, confronted the thugs and was stabbed to death.

His attackers left him dying on the roadside with a knife protruding from his chest -- as the pregnant mum and her partner tried to comfort him. A young child who was in the car is also believed to have witnessed the stabbing.

Mr O'Connor's older sibling Keith has said that his brother "died a hero".

Warren's murder was one of two knife killings which occurred in 48 hours. A man was knifed to death at Lattin, Co Tipperary, at 10pm last night.

The Dublin stabbing followed a row which began at The Beech in the Grattan Wood apartment complex on Hole In The Wall Road in Donaghmede on Friday night.

Warren's friend, whose girlfriend is pregnant, was having trouble with loud music from one of the neighbours.

The friend gave Warren, who served in the Defence Forces from 2003 and 2006, a call to see if he could help him out.

Warren and two other pals then went to try to sort out the situation at around 11pm. His brother said that when they got there, it "turned into an altercation" so they decided to leave by car. However, the thugs chased after them in their own car, ramming Warren and the others.

Keith revealed how they rammed the car three times before both cars came to a stop.

Backbone

A fight started and Warren was stabbed with a long-bladed weapon. The kitchen knife snapped, leaving the blade embedded in Warren's chest when the emergency services arrived at the scene.

Forensic tests were carried out on the weapon used to stab Warren. No arrests have yet been made.

The victim's dad, Francis, described his son as the "back-bone of this family". He said he would not rest until "his killers get what they deserve".

Francis, from Ferrycarrig Green, said his son "had everything to live for". Warren's former team-mates rushed to his bedside at Beaumont Hospital where he died in the early hours of Saturday.

Coolock Town FC manager Anthony Ryan said Warren was a "very popular young lad".

He won Player Of The Year for the club last year before moving to Killester United in the summer, Mr Ryan revealed.

He said he got a text at 4.20am on Saturday saying what had happened and he "couldn't believe it".

"I can't really believe it now," he added.

Warren's murder was one of five over 10 days in Dublin -- three of which were gangland slayings.

Along with soccer, he also played Gaelic football with St Laurence O'Toole's club on Dublin's northside.

Separately, gardai have arrested a man following a fatal knife attack at a housing estate in Lattin, outside Tipperary town at 10pm last night.

The man, believed to be in his late 20s, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The man who has been arrested was known to the victim. He is believed to have been originally from Co Limerick.

hnews@herald.ie


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