herald

Monday 23 April 2018

Babysitting grandad stabbed to death over dog's barking

A GRANDFATHER was stabbed to death after the barking from his family dog upset a man living in the same estate.

The devastated partner of Michael Gannon (55) said she wants answers as to why he was murdered at his daughter's home in Skerries last night where he was minding his grandchildren.

Nicola Lee (42) said the knife victim had rang her an hour before he was attacked to say he would be home soon.

The Herald can reveal that this is the second tragedy for the Gannon family after Daniel O'Haire – a nephew of Michael Gannon – died last year.

Mr O'Haire (31) had been confined to a wheelchair for almost a decade after he was stabbed in the neck in 2003.

ASSAULT

Gardai are investigating whether the Skerries murder is linked to an alleged assault at a party last week which led to a rise in tensions between Mr Gannon and his suspected assailant.

A man in his late 20s was arrested by gardai at a nearby house after the alarm was raised.

Investigating officers also recovered a knife at the house where the suspect was arrested. He remains in custody today.

Gardai believe the deceased was attacked at the home of his daughter, Jade, in Mourne Park, Skerries after a Dalmatian dog – belonging to the family – was barking loudly at the home.

The grandchildren – aged six and 12 – did not witness the attack.

Heartbroken Nicola Lee (42) spoke to the Herald less than 24 hours after she got the awful news about her partner Michael Gannon. "What can I say? I don't know what happened," she said.

"I just got a phone call and we went out to Skerries. They (gardai) have no information. But I know the policeman will be up today at 11 o'clock to make a statement," Ms Lee added.

She had been expecting Michael home when she got a call to say he had been killed.

"He rang me an hour before he died, he said he was on his way home," she revealed.

When Nicola got to the scene of the attack, Michael's body was still there but she was not allowed to see him.

"I'm with him 14 years," she told the Herald.

"How can I explain about Mick?

"He was a good man, a good father, a good partner. You can't describe him. He always gave to me unconditional love always. He always said that to me. Always, no matter what."

Nicola received a call yesterday from a friend of Michael's daughter who gave her the terrible news.

"It was from Jade's friend that I know, she's the one that rang me and told me.

"For a minute I thought ... my mind went blank, I just thought no, that's a joke.

"But she said I had to go out and find out for myself."

Nicola, who has a son from a previous relationship, said Michael was a professional roofer.

SHOCK

She said she hasn't been able to get any information yet on yesterday's incident.

"I'm trying to get it. Why (he was stabbed), I don't know," she told the Herald.

One Skerries resident said: "My mam rang me and said that the kids are after coming down. As far as I know he [Mr Gannon] told his granddaughter to go and get help.

"She ran to my mother's to get help.

"The first person to come on the scene was my mother and she couldn't get a pulse.

"The two kids don't understand what's going on but I'm sure their mam will sit them down and explain everything."

"It's a shock for most people around here."

Investigations are continuing.

hnews@herald.ie

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