herald

Sunday 22 July 2018

Suspect questioned over fatal stabbing of 'Pa' in pub

Victim Patrick 'Pa' O'Connor
Victim Patrick 'Pa' O'Connor

Gardai have arrested a man in connection with the fatal stabbing of Patrick 'Pa' O'Connor at a pub in Limerick.

The suspect, aged in his 40s, was arrested by gardai yesterday and brought to Henry Street Garda Station for questioning about the murder.

The man was detained under Section Four of the Criminal Justice Act, which allows gardai to question him for up to 24 hours without charge.

Mr O'Connor (24), from Kileely, Limerick, sustained critical stab wounds while he was socialising in Fitzgerald's Bar, Thomondgate, last Saturday night.

He was rushed by ambulance to University Hospital Limerick, where he died from his injuries in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Gardai have launched a murder investigation and have set up a special incident room at Mayorstone Garda Station.

On Sunday evening, Superintendent Derek Smart, who is leading the investigation, was granted a further 48 hours in which to hold Fitzgerald's Bar as a designated crime scene. The application was made before Limerick District Court, sitting in Kilmallock.

Gardai attached to the Technical Bureau continued to carry out forensic examinations at the pub yesterday.

Motive

According to garda sources, Mr O'Connor and the suspect for his murder were in one another's company at Fitzgerald's Bar "for a couple of hours".

Gardai said there was no clear motive for the attack. Investigators believe Mr O'Connor was fatally stabbed in front of crowd of onlookers inside the pub.

Supt Smart yesterday appealed for witnesses, saying that there were "a large number of people within the public house watching two World Cup games".

"A number of people have come forward and we have actively interviewed them and taken statements from them, and I'd like to thank them for coming forward to us," Supt Smart said.

However, he added that there were "a number of other people that haven't come forward yet, and we are seeking their assistance to tell us what they saw within the public house".

A post-mortem on Mr O'Connor's body was due to be carried out by Deputy State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster yesterday afternoon.

Anyone with information about the case has been asked to contact Mayorstone Garda Station on 061 456 980, or the Garda Confidential line, 1800 666 111.

"It might be the vital part of the jigsaw that we need," said Supt Smart.

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