A YOUNG man was stabbed to death in front of his pregnant girlfriend in Dublin last night.
Gardai have launched a murder hunt in Swords after the killing of James Joyce (20) just yards from his family home.
Distraught girlfriend Alison Colgan told the Herald: “There was a row, and James tried to stop it.” The dad-to-be suffered a frenzied attack from a man brandishing two knives, devastated Alison said today.
Mr Joyce's father Patrick described the horror, saying: “The blood was pumping out of his chest and shoulder, I knew it was bad.”
It is understood that a row involving a number of youths broke out on St Cronan's Avenue in Swords shortly before 9.30pm last night.
Mr Joyce tried to intervene but suffered a number of stab wounds and was rushed to Beaumont Hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later.
His girlfriend, who is six months pregnant, looked on in horror as the attack took place. Alison Colgan told the Herald today how she could only watch as James lay dying on the roadway.
"We went down to the green with a few friends and there was a row going on down there, and James tried to stop it," she explained.
"And then this guy came over, we didn't really know him, we just know him to see, and he had two knives hidden up his sleeves and he just started stabbing James."
His father Patrick arrived on the scene shortly afterwards, having been alerted by a witness.
"This girl came running up and told me James was in a bad way, so I ran down to see what was going on," he told the Herald. "The blood was pumping out of his chest and shoulder, I knew it was bad. The doctors told me that there was no way they could have saved him even if they got to him immediately, he had two arteries cut," he added.
Mr Joyce was known to Gardai but his mum Rose said today that her son was "a truthful young man".
"He would always tell you what he thought. That's what I liked about him," she said through her tears. Speaking at the family home, she explained: "There was a row, and James tried to stop it. That's what we heard.
"Alison said that trying to stop a fight would be exactly the sort of thing that James would do. He would always try and help his friends."
James was a big fan of Liverpool and loved watching wrestling, his father added.
No arrests have been made but a major gardai investigation is underway.
The scene was preserved this morning, pending the arrival of the Garda Technical Bureau.
The State Pathologists' office has also been notified and a post mortem is expected to take place later today.
Anyone who may have witnessed this incident or who may have any information is asked to contact Swords Garda Station 01-6664700, the Garda Confidential Line 1800-666-111 or any Garda Station.