herald

Thursday 24 August 2017

Gardai call for witnesses 10 years after knife murder of painter (60)

Michael Gallagher
Michael Gallagher

Detectives still have no motive for the murder of a 60-year-old man stabbed to death in his Dublin home 10 years ago.

Despite following many lines of inquiry, officers have never made an arrest for the killing of Michael Gallagher, who was attacked at his home in Tymonville Road, Tallaght, shortly after 10pm on January 18, 2007.

A senior source told the Herald last night that the most likely motive remains a "deep personal grudge", but officers are no closer to making progress.

Mr Gallagher, a painter and decorator who was described as "a big strong man", was watching TV in the house he shared with his partner, Sally Rodgers, when two men came to the front door.

When Ms Rodgers opened it, she was violently pushed aside. One of the men had a knife and the other was carrying a hammer.

They rushed at Mr Gallagher and chased him into the kitchen where they stabbed him repeatedly before fleeing.

They were seen on the road near the house shortly after but were never traced.

Gardai say that the killers, who wore ski masks, had an umbrella with them on the night and are appealing for anyone who may have seen two men matching the description in the area to contact them.

Heart

Mr Gallagher was stabbed several times in the chest and other parts of his body. One of the knife wounds was to his heart. He died in Tallaght Hospital.

Gardai yesterday renewed their appeal for information in a bid to help solve the case.

"We are issuing an appeal to those people who may not have come forward at the time of the murder but may now feel comfortable to do so," said Det Insp John Walsh.

Ms Rodgers also made a fresh plea for information in a local newspaper.

"I still don't know why these people came into my house that night and every night I ask why," she said.

"No one has a reason to take anybody's, life but there was absolutely no reason to take Michael's," she said.

"I was attacked too that night and I know I did nothing.

"Ten years down the road and I'm still in that moment, still in my home when those men forced their way in.

"People think that over time things get better, but they don't. I've just had to learn to live with the horror that's in my head."

Gardai at one stage were pursuing a line of investigation that Mr Gallagher might have been the victim of mistaken identity as he slightly resembled another man who was suspected of being involved in a child abuse incident.

However, that was quickly ruled out.

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