Stab murder suspect linked to gang rapist
PROBE: Victim 'targeted in love triangle row'
THE chief suspect for murdering a Limerick criminal in a twisted love-triangle row is an associate of one of the thugs who was involved in the notorious Cratloe gang rape.
Gardai are today searching for the man, who is aged in his mid 20s, and a close associate of his after Gerard McMahon was fatally stabbed multiple times at around 12.30am yesterday.
Sources believe that serial burglar McMahon (43 - pictured) was targeted because he was blamed for having a relationship with a local woman.
The chief suspect is understood to have been "very friendly" with convicted gang rapist Thomas O' Neill (24) who was just a teenager when he was involved in one of Ireland's most brutal rapes at the Cratloe Woods, Co Clare, in January 2004.
Properties linked to the suspect were searched yesterday in Limerick and a manhunt is continuing for him today.
The suspect is said to have been "extremely jealous" of McMahon's relationship with the woman.
Stab victim McMahon was found bleeding heavily on the steps of a terraced home on the southside of Limerick city in the early hours of yesterday.
It is believed he sought sanctuary at a friend's home in Lenihan Avenue, Prospect, around 12.30am after he was stabbed repeatedly moments earlier in the vicinity and collapsed at the entrance to the house.
The occupant of the home -- Joe McEvoy -- pulled McMahon into the house and attempted to assist the wounded man.
An ambulance rushed McMahon to the Mid-Western regional hospital in Dooradoyle, but he was pronounced dead a short time later.
McMahon was at his family home in the nearby Raheen Square in the hours before the attack.
The victim -- known locally as 'Gerry Troy' -- had numerous court appearances and recorded up to 50 previous convictions, mainly for burglary and public order offences. He was last arrested last month for breaking into a home on the southside of the city.
In June 2007, he was jailed for three months after he defecated in the public gallery of Limerick's historic courthouse.
He is a relative of convicted killer Anthony McMahon (34) who is currently serving a 10 year sentence for stabbing two health workers during a 'frenzied' attack at a hospital in Limerick in January, 2008.
At their home, the victim's sisters, Marian and Sarah were attempting to come to terms with their brother's murder.
Marian said the family received a phone call in the early hours of Wednesday
"They were saying he was up in Prospect and after being stabbed. Somebody went up and I went up afterwards, but they had taken him away in an ambulance. I am up all night with the thought of what happened," Marian said.
Sarah said her brother had been watching TV before going out that evening.
"He was down the avenue there drinking a few cans with the lads before he called into my brother, who lives here on the street. He would have had a drink there and called up to Joe then. Himself and Joe are friends," Sarah said.
"They must have been waiting for him or watching him. He was stabbed in the back. He had a big thick coat on him -- a canvas-like coat - and it would be very hard to pierce that with a knife," Sarah added.
"He just went up and fell against Joe's door. Joe heard a noise outside and pulled him into the house. Joe said his head was bloody on one side. Ger never talked to him -- he couldn't.
"He just pointed to his side as Joe was trying to bring him in the door. Joe took off his coat and saw all the stab wounds. He was stabbed all over the back."