Knife victim dodged death in fatal road crash 14 years ago
A young man who was stabbed to death in a laneway yesterday previously survived a horror road crash that killed his sister and her friend.
The victim, named locally as Karl Haugh (25), was attacked in the Marion Estate in Kilkee, Co Clare, at approximately 1.15am.
The father-of-one was knifed several times before being taken to Limerick University Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Three men have been arrested in connection with the fatal attack and were being questioned at various garda stations in Co Clare last night.
Mr Haugh, who was known as 'Gobo', was from a well-known local family.
The young man, who is from the town, previously survived a car crash in 2003 that killed his older sister Stacey.
Mr Haugh was just 11 when the car he was travelling in with Stacey (16) and Lorna Mahoney (13) and being driven by then 15-year-old David Naughton crashed at Moyarta Carrigaholt.
The girls died at the scene while Karl subsequently underwent heart surgery in Dublin after being given a 20pc chance of survival.
Yesterday, friends took to Facebook to pay tribute to Mr Haugh, with one woman saying: "Kilkee will never be the same without you."
She added: "I can't believe we woke up to the news you were gone, Gobo. We were just with your mother. She's in bits. She doesn't know what to do with herself.
"Kilkee will never be the same without you. You changed your whole life for the better with college and a six-month baby girl. RIP Gobo, you're loved and going to be missed by so many."
Another friend posted that she hoped Mr Haugh would "sleep tight", adding: "Say hi to Stacey for us.
"I know she's up there waiting for you."
The town is a popular destination for tourists from Munster, especially nearby Limerick.
Gardai have recovered a knife which they believe was used in the stabbing. A source said a number of people were present at the time of the attack.
Detectives hope to speak to all those who witnessed the incident. A senior source said the attack was not connected to any gangland feud and was most likely the result of a local dispute.
"These men would be known to each other," the source added.
"They are not considered serious criminals.
"This would appear to be a fight that may have just got out of hand."
Speaking yesterday, Garda Superintendent John Galvin confirmed that there was an incident involving the victim and a number of others.
Supt Galvin said: "Right now we are trying to build a picture of what happened."
Supt Galvin said that gardai were carrying out inquiries in the area and looking for any CCTV of what may have occurred.
Supt Galvin said that "there is a lot of shock in the area. Kilkee is a good town, a quiet town and a holiday resort".
He confirmed that all of the parties were from the west Clare area.
Gardai have appointed a family liaison officer for the victim's family.
Parish priest of Kilkee, Fr Gerry Kenny, said yesterday that "it is an awful tragedy for the family concerned". He added: "Kilkee is a very tight-knit community."
Gardai have appealed to witnesses who may have been in the area at the time of the incident to contact them at Kilrush Garda Station on 065-9080550, the garda confidential telephone line on 1800 666 111 or at any garda station.