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Barbecue Bloodbath

A BIRTHDAY barbecue in Dublin ended in a bloodbath with five young men stabbed.

The shocking incident occurred shortly after 4am yesterday outside a house party in Tallaght.

Another man suffered serious head injuries in the melee which is believed to have started after a man called to the house to complain about noise.

When gardai first arrived at the scene, officers feared they were dealing with two fatalities such was the amount of blood.

Today gardai are still trying to piece together the exact sequence of events which led to the 18th birthday barbecue turning into a horror scene.

The Herald has learned that before the violence began, a neighbour of the Tonner family -- who live in the house on Deerpark Avenue where the party was taking place -- had called to the property to complain about noise.

It is understood that this man, a psychiatric nurse and father-of-one, had been out socialising with his partner earlier in the night.

He was still being treated at St James's Hospital this morning for head injuries after being allegedly hit over the head with a cricket bat.



DISPUTE



Gardai are hoping to interview him today and it is understood that he has been in a dispute with his neighbours for a number of months.

While this man's injuries are not life threatening, sources say that it is "a miracle" that at least two of the five men -- who were stabbed as they left the house yesterday morning -- were not killed.

Lee Harte (18) was left with life-threatening injuries after being stabbed once in the leg and three times in the abdomen.

Jim Tonner (41) -- whose son James was celebrating his 18th birthday -- required eight hours of emergency surgery yesterday and had part of his bowel removed after being stabbed twice in the stomach.

"These men are very lucky to be alive today. They should be able to make a full recovery," explained a source.

James Tonner, whose birthday celebrations turned into a nightmare, suffered slash wounds to his stomach and leg.

Pals Kurtis Lennon (17) and Stephen Keogh (18) suffered stab wounds to their chest and kidney respectively.

All five were at a party in the house that began with a barbecue on Saturday afternoon and continued into the early hours of yesterday.

The man attacked some of the partygoers with a kitchen knife, and a number of people ran from the house as he lashed out with it.

James Toner attempted to run from the scene before collapsing in the middle of the road about 50 metres away.

Lee Harte returned to the party house after being stabbed in the abdomen. All five men were brought to Tallaght Hospital for treatment

The house was sealed off and underwent a forensic examination throughout yesterday by members of the Garda Technical Bureau.