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Skating champ knifed to death was 'gentle soul'

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Michael Olohan was stabbed to death at his home in Clontarf last week

Michael Olohan was stabbed to death at his home in Clontarf last week

Michael Olohan was stabbed to death at his home in Clontarf last week

The sister of a figure skating champion stabbed to death in Dublin last week has remembered him as a "sweet young man" and a "gentle soul".

Michael Olohan (35) was killed at his home in Clontarf on Thursday morning and a man has since been charged in relation to the incident.

He had lived at an independent facility run by the HSE for a decade, having rented his own property for the last four years, and his family said he was at the mature end of his journey dealing with mental health difficulties.

Michael Olohan's sister Emma told the Herald how her brother was a figure skating champion and represented Northern Ireland, as there was no team in the Republic, and would fund this by delivering papers across the capital.

Angry

"Naturally myself and our family are hurting. Some are empathetic, some are angry. I feel my little brother, who I'll never get to hug, laugh or live a moment with again, had a right to feel safe in his own home.

"He did feel safe and yet here we are. He was loving, quiet and a gentle soul.

"We cannot fathom how this came to be, especially to a gentle guy like Michael. It's surreal," Emma Olohan said.

Her younger sibling had been renting a room in a two-bed apartment at the low-support facility for four years prior to his death.

"Anyone, including residents there or locally, friends, family and even those amazing care teams on-site who guided and supported Michael, especially in his earlier years of depression, will tell you that Michael was likeable, independent and warm.

"He invested many years coming through milestones after his sports career stopped, and had immersed himself in arts, information technology and business education," she added.

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Officers at the scene

Officers at the scene

Officers at the scene

Ms Olohan said that, as they picked out their brother's suit ahead of his funeral this week, the tragedy of the situation for their close-knit family hit home.

Michael was, his sister said, surrounded by neighbours who were working, studying or moving on in their lives.

"He too had goals that he met and had more successes planned for his near future.

"He loved to travel, and to learn. At home we called him 'the eternal student'.

"He loved all genres of music, appreciated art, horticulture, cuisine, culture, gardening and visited his parents' home every weekend for a catch-up.

Neighbours

"He was a real example of a life-long learner.

"He had a fantastic relationship with those in both properties in St Lawrence Road, both the medium level support house, and his neighbours in the apartment complex where he lived," Ms Olohan recalled.

"He loved the whole community, especially his walks and coffees on days off college.

"We've never heard or seen anything like this, and can't believe our brother is now gone."

Michael Olohan is survived by his parents Jean and John, sisters Emma, Joanne and Rachel, brother Desmond, brothers-in-law Martin and Mark, and his wider family.