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Pals' tributes to victim of island killing

A WELL-KNOWN Dublin couple have told of their shock a the murder of an Irish hotel manager in the Caribbean.

Dubliner Joe Costello (43) was hacked to death with a sword on the Caribbean island of Dominica in an armed robbery.

Fundraiser Darina Ni Chuinneagain has revealed how shocked she and husband Declan Donnelly were to learn of the man's murder last Sunday night on the paradise island of Dominica.

Three men have been arrested by police in connection with the incident and are being questioned today.

Ms Ni Chuinneagain said the incident was "very sad" and paid tribute to the hotel manager -- who has been hailed as a hero after intervening in the robbery at a guesthouse.

"Joe was at the same school as my husband Declan at Catholic University School on Leeson Street," she explained. "He remembers Joe as a great rugby team-mate. He was always full of life, a great smiler and was delighted to help people out.

"He was brutally murdered while simply trying to help two of his friends under attack from a robbery gang. I don't know what sort of a world we are living in sometimes."

Ms Ni Chuinneagain, who runs the Baby Max Wings of Love Fund with her husband, went on to say how all the past pupils of CUS were "very shocked" to hear of the killing.

Meanwhile, US-based pals of Mr Costello have also told of their upset at his violent death.

US-based couple Gina and Bill Wilson, who live in Dallas, Texas, said: "We will miss him."

The couple have treasured photographs of their time with Joe on the island, and said he was a wonderful character.

The savage attack happened when Mr Costello was seriously injured in an apparent attempted robbery on Sunday night.

He was set upon as he attempted to save friends Rick and Alicia Davison from their assailants while he visited a guest house owned by them.

The American couple, who run Pagua Bay House, were attacked by three men attempting to rob them and also sustained minor injuries during the attack.

Mr Costello intervened to help his friends but he was hit on the head with a cutlass and died a short time later.

A spokeswoman for Silks Hotel, where Mr Costello worked as a manager for the last nine months, said that they were putting together a reward to help catch his killers.

Jordan Jermaine, whose family run the luxury hotel, paid tribute to Mr Costello and described him as a "hero". He said that he got involved in an incident that most people would run away from.

hnews@herald.ie


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