Wednesday 17 January 2018

Gardai confident they can make arrest as stabbing death inquest adjourned

Victim Lorcan O’Reilly
Victim Lorcan O’Reilly

An inquest into the death of a 21-year-old man who was stabbed to death at Halloween has heard he was killed by a single knife wound.

The revelation came as it emerged that gardai are almost ready to arrest the 15-year-old chief suspect in the case after he returned to Ireland just over a fortnight ago after spending a number of weeks in Holland.

Lorcan O'Reilly, of Robert Emmet Close, Dublin 8, died in St James's Hospital last November 1.

His aunt, Patricia Rooney, wept in the witness box while her deposition was read out as an inquest opened at Dublin Coroner's Court.

Ms Rooney had formally identified her nephew's body to Gda Nathan McKenna of Kilmainham Garda Station at St James's Hospital.

She said she and Lorcan's uncle Paul were appearing in court on behalf of the family.

Gda McKenna identified the body to pathology staff, and a post-mortem was carried out by Deputy State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster.

The cause of death was cardiac haemorrhage due to a stab wound to the thorax.

Insp Paul Cleary applied to coroner Dr Brian Farrell for a six-month adjournment of the inquest proceedings to allow for further investigation.


"This is a homicide, the investigation is active and ongoing and a file is being prepared for the DPP," Insp Cleary said.

Dr Farrell offered his sympathies to the family.

"I'm very sorry. I don't know all of the circumstances and I can't make any further comment today," he said.

The young man was stabbed at the Oliver Bond flats complex in Dublin.

It is thought he was in the process of trying to stop a fight when he was stabbed at approximately 2.30am.

He was rushed to St James's Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

The inquest was adjourned until September 2.

A chief suspect quickly emerged, and he presented himself for questioning at Kevin Street Garda Station with his two grandmothers a number of days after the knife attack.

He was not arrested at that time.

He fled Dublin only hours after he had to be hospitalised as the result of a severe beating in the early hours of New Year's Day.

A number of youths attacked the then 15-year-old in the south inner city and he suffered a number of serious kicks and punches to the head.

In the weeks after the murder, gardai arrested up to 16 people including a number of women and juveniles for withholding information.

Several key witnesses have come forward, leading gardai to feel confident they can press charges, with an arrest expected within weeks.

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