Thursday 23 November 2017

Man and woman held after ‘gentle’ musician found stabbed to death

Gardai at the scene of the fatal stabbing in Sligo
Gardai at the scene of the fatal stabbing in Sligo

Gardai have arrested a woman and a man after a 59-year-old man was found dead at his home Sligo.

The victim – named locally as musician and carpenter Matt Kivlehan – was discovered with stab wounds at his house on Holborn Street, Sligo, at around 1pm yesterday by a friend.

The scene was examined last night by the Deputy State Pathologist, Michael Curtis, who arrived in Sligo after 8pm.

Detectives have retrieved a knife found close to the body.

Mr Kivlehan (59), who comes from a well-respected family in the area, lived alone.

Sources said they were investigating if the victim, who was also known as Martin, was stabbed during a dispute.


A man in his late 20s and a woman in her mid-20s were arrested in the Sligo town area and are currently detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984 at Sligo Garda Station.

Publican Jackie Brennan, who owns the nearby Rendezvous Bar, was a friend of the deceased and described him as a “wonderful musician”.

“He was the nicest fellow you could meet – a bit placid and timid,” he told the Herald.

Local councillor Seamus O’Boyle described the victim, who he knew for over 30 years, as a “gentleman”.

“Matt was an absolute gentleman, he was into the music  and played the banjo,” Cllr O’Boyle said.

He said that Mr Kivlehan was well known within the community and was “a character that was very well respected.”

“Everyone would have known him in the area,” he said.

The victim was formerly a cabinet maker and was a well known banjo player who regularly played the local bars in Sligo.

Another friend, who did not wish to be named said he was a fine carpenter and cabinet-maker.


“You could not ask to meet a more gentle person. I never heard Matt raise his voice to anybody in his life,” he said.

“He was a lovely, warm man.”

Mr Kivlehan came from a well-respected family of seven with three brothers and three sisters who all live locally.

Gardai last night said they were investigating all the circumstances of the discovery of Mr Kivlehan’s body.

“The man was pronounced dead at the scene,” said a spokesman.

Although a carpenter by trade and a specialist in cabinet-making, Mr Kivlehan is understood to have been out of work in recent years.

He is believed to have suffered from ill-health in recent times.

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