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Stab suspect had changed his name after earlier attack

The man arrested by gardai in connection with the death of Michael O'Dwyer (25) at a house party in Tramore had changed his name after being found guilty of assaulting a former friend in 2006.

Thomas O'Grady altered his name by deed poll to Tadgh Butler following that attack.

In the Tramore incident, Michael Dwyer's family have spoken of their heartbreak at his loss in the unprovoked attack.

They described him as "a quiet young fella who wouldn't hurt a fly".

Mr O'Dwyer died after a large kitchen knife was plunged into his chest at a party at a rented house in Seafield, Tramore, Co Waterford, shortly after 11.30pm on Thursday.

The young man was sitting on the stairs chatting about music to a friend when, without words being exchanged, another man stabbed him in the chest with a large kitchen knife.

ARRESTED

A fourth person attending the house party was asleep on a sofa at the time.

The young man was found by gardai critically injured and was pronounced dead shortly after being admitted to Waterford Regional Hospital in Ardkeen.

Gardai arrested the occupant of the property, Thomas O'Grady (32) aka Tadhg Butler, at the scene.

Mr O'Grady was being questioned at Tramore Garda Station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

Gardai will make a decision on whether to release or charge Mr O'Grady once a post-mortem examination on the victim is concluded at Waterford Regional Hospital in Ardkeen.

Mr O'Grady, who changed his name a number of years ago, is from Kilkenny and received a three-year sentence in 2006 for assault causing harm to a former friend, Paul Barry.

The O'Dwyer family, who moved from Kilkenny city to Stoneyford two years ago, last night said they were devastated by the death of the 25-year-old who was one of five brothers.

The young man's mother, Geraldine, was too distressed to comment about her son's killing.

DEVASTATED

Michael's uncle, PJ, said: "We are absolutely devastated. It is an awful blow because his father only died two-and-a-half years ago.

"He [Michael] lived here with his mother who is my sister. She is totally heartbroken. Michael was absolutely devoted to her. Michael was a lovely young fella.

"He was very quiet and wouldn't hurt a fly."

Michael's younger brother, Conor, fought back tears as he said the family were devastated.

Former neighbour, Labour councillor Marie Fitzpatrick, said: "They are a lovely family and very respected in the area. Michael was a lovely young man and would never cause harm to anyone."

Mr O'Dwyer is understood to have visited the Seafield property with two friends from Kilkenny on Thursday. Two members of the group were apparently heading on holidays.

A garda source said the assault on Mr O'Dwyer was totally unprovoked.

The small Seafield estate in Tramore, located some 100m from the strand, is popular for summer holiday rentals but does have a number of people who live there all year round.

The two-storey semi-detached house remained sealed off as Garda Technical Bureau officers began an examination of the scene.

hnews@herald.ie


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