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Tuesday 14 August 2018

Sportsman (35) dies in 'frenzied' knife attack 'over Christmas spend'

William 'Willie' Lynch died after stab attack at his home in Co Limerick
William 'Willie' Lynch died after stab attack at his home in Co Limerick

Gardai believe the fatal stabbing of a popular sportsman was triggered by a trivial dispute over Christmas spending.

Well-known pool and darts player William 'Willie' Lynch (35) was found stabbed at his home on Saturday afternoon.

His younger brother, Gerry (29), was last night being held for questioning by gardai, who are treating the death as murder.

Gerry, who is also known as George and is understood to have battled serious mental health problems, was being cared for by his older brother over the Christmas period.

Blood

William Lynch was found with serious stab wounds at his home in the main street of Pallaskenry, Co Limerick, at 5pm on Saturday.

Despite desperate efforts by paramedics to stabilise his condition, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Gardai later sealed off four areas as potential crime scenes: the victim's blood-stained home, a local supermarket and two other Pallaskenry properties.

Several areas were examined for what were understood to be blood spatters. Minor damage was caused to one of the scenes.

A short time later, Gerry Lynch was arrested and taken to Newcastle West Garda Station for questioning.

His period of detention was extended yesterday and can be further extended by gardai if required.

One source indicated that he is co-operating fully with the garda investigation.

A post-mortem examination at University Hospital Limerick by Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster confirmed that William Lynch died as a result of stab injuries.

The deceased had sustained multiple stab injuries, in what one garda source said was a frenzied attack.

The weapon used is believed to have been a large bladed knife.

Gerry Lynch was said to be distraught when taken into custody. One garda source indicated that it is believed the dispute was sparked by a minor disagreement about Christmas spending.

"The indications are that it was a relatively minor issue that suddenly and tragically spiralled out of hand," he said.

It is understood that William Lynch was attacked with such speed that he was unable to defend himself or flee to safety.

The killer left the property immediately after the attack.

Gardai were later informed that a man was spotted walking in Pallaskenry with blood all over his clothing.

Multiple tributes have been paid to William Lynch, who was scheduled to host a charity pool tournament in aid of a Milford Hospice on Saturday night.

He was well known for his involvement in football, pool and darts.

His heartbroken mother Helen, known locally as 'Susie', posted on Facebook: "My heart is torn into pieces."

Earlier, the mother-of-three cried as she watched her son's body being removed from his home for a post-mortem examination.

Brian Barry, one of Mr Lynch's best friends, said his death had left the village shocked.

"I'm just numb. It doesn't feel real. I was chatting to him all over Christmas and we were looking forward to the New Year. Now it's all over," he said.

Staunch

A local businessman, who asked to be unnamed, said Mr Lynch had "a heart of gold" and was a staunch supporter of sporting and community groups.

"Willie couldn't do enough for you. There wasn't a person around here that he wouldn't do a good turn for," he said.

Gardai released a statement last night saying: "Following the conclusion of a post-mortem examination... investigating gardai at Newcastle West have now launched a murder investigation.

"A 29-year-old man arrested in connection with this investigation remains in custody."

Anyone with information is asked to contact gardai on (061) 393102, or call the Garda Confidential Line on (1800) 666111.

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