herald

Friday 9 December 2016

Man (24) stabbed and left for dead in burning home

The scene pictured this morning, of a house fire in Rhode, Co. Offaly where a man was badly injured last night. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
The scene pictured this morning, of a house fire in Rhode, Co. Offaly where a man was badly injured last night. Picture Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin.
St James's Hospital

A man in his 20s is fighting for his life in a Dublin hospital after he was stabbed and beaten at a house which was then set on fire in Co Offaly.

The 24-year-old was knifed multiple times at the house in the townland of Coolcor, outside Rhode, some time between 11.30pm last night and 1.50am this morning.

The victim, named locally as Ciaran Murphy, is believed to have escaped from the house after being left for dead inside. He was found by a neighbour at the rear of the secluded property after they noticed the blazing house.

He had sustained up to 10 stab wounds and extensive burns.

Shocked

Neighbours then raised the alarm and the garda investigation into the attack began.

“We are all shocked by this. It’s frightening to think anyone could do this,” said one local woman.

Kennels at the rear of the house indicate Mr Murphy keeps or breeds dogs, but it was not known early today if any dogs died or were injured in the fire.

Gardai said the victim was rushed to Tullamore Hospital, but was then transferred to St James’s Hospital in Dublin.

His condition today is described as critical.

Gardai have received no reports of anyone else injured in the incident.

The scene on the Rochfordbridge road on the outskirts of Rhode village has been preserved for a technical examination and investigations are ongoing.

The house, which Mr Murphy was said to be renting, was gutted in the fire.

Locals in the quiet Co Offaly town are said to be stunned by the attack and the level of violence used.

Independent councillor Noel Cribbin said that locals were “shocked”.

“Rhode is a very small village in the Midlands. People in the area are shocked.

“There is no history of this carry-on in Rhode,” said Mr Cribbin.

Local Fianna Fail councillor Noel Bourke said that Rhode is a quiet village.

Witnesses are asked to contact Tullamore Garda Station on 057 0327600, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.

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