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Murder victim stabbed to death over cigarette

Ireland's latest murder victim was stabbed to death when a row started after he refused a man a cigarette, the Herald can reveal.

The chief suspect for the brutal knife attack on John Murdoch (23) in Tallaght at midnight on Friday remains in garda custody today.

He is a 33-year-old homeless man, originally from the Tallaght area, who was arrested by arrangement outside the Rotunda Hospital yesterday evening.

It is understood that the suspect -- who has a severe drugs problem and has been staying at a number of city centre addresses -- has admitted his role in the stab attack.


The suspect has a number of small-scale convictions for theft and has been battling a major heroin problem.

Gardai also expect to make other arrests in the case over the coming days as the murder was witnessed by a number of people.

Mr Murdoch, of Donomore Crescent in Tallaght, was well known to local gardai but was not considered a serious criminal.

The victim, who comes from a decent family, had built up a reputation as a small-time car thief and had a number of previous convictions for offences such as carjacking and drug offences.

He was stabbed a number of times in the chest when the row between a number of young people erupted into a physical confrontation at a local shop, which continued across a green area and ended outside apartments at Cushlawn Dale.

Sources revealed that Mr Murdoch had earlier attended a house party on Friday night where he and some of his pals had been celebrating local club Shamrock Rovers' success in qualifying for the group stages of the Europa League.

It is understood that Mr Murdoch and some of the other men then left the house to buy alcohol at an off-licence in Killinarden but the premises was closed when they got there.

As they stood outside the off-licence, another group of men and women passed and it was here that Mr Murdoch refused a man a cigarette.

A slagging match then began and Mr Murdoch ended up being stabbed in the heart while his attacker fled the scene.

As he lay in a pool of blood, the victim's friends called the emergency services but Mr Murdoch was dead by the time ambulance personnel arrived at the scene.