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Grandad savagely kicked to death as he fled party brawl

A 60-YEAR-OLD grandfather was savagely kicked to death after he tried to flee from an alcohol-fuelled row in an apartment complex.

The revelation came as gardai are set to launch a murder probe into the death of Joseph 'Joe' O'Brien, whose battered body was discovered late on Monday night in a Waterford apartment.

Mr O'Brien -- a grandfather who only celebrated his 60th birthday in March -- was discovered dead in the Scotch Marsh House complex overlooking the Waterford city quays at 10.30pm.

He died from multiple severe injuries to his head, neck and chest.

Initial indications are that an alcohol-fuelled row erupted in the complex during a party -- and Mr O'Brien was fatally attacked as he attempted to leave.

A senior garda source indicated that Mr O'Brien's body showed evidence his head and neck had been repeatedly kicked and stamped on.

Alcohol

Mr O'Brien -- a former factory worker and delivery driver who suffered from a serious alcohol problem -- lived at nearby Spring Garden Alley in a Respond sheltered housing unit.

He was a father of two who had lived alone over recent years. One neighbour described him as "a lovely, harmless, quiet man". "He was living here for about a year after being in Airmount. He was in hospital a few weeks back. I don't know what for but he did apparently have a bit of a problem with the drink. But he was a lovely man who wouldn't hurt a fly," she said.

Mr O'Brien -- who was a talented athlete in his 20s -- was visiting the Scotch Marsh House complex to attend a party.

He had been drinking in Ballybricken and Waterford city centre earlier in the evening and had apparently called to the apartment complex on his own.

The premises is located directly across the road from the family home of Tony Award-winning actress, Anna Manahan.

A man (47) and a woman (39) were arrested in connection with the death. They were detained at Ballybricken Garda Station and can be held until later today.

hnews@herald.ie


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