Gardaí investigating the fatal stabbing of a 25-year-old father of one following an incident in Co Clare early yesterday morning have appealed for witnesses to come forward.

Three men have been arrested in connection with the death of Karl Haugh, who sustained fatal injuries following an altercation with several men at Marian Estate in Kilkee. The incident is thought to have happened at around 1.15am.

Gardaí arrested a man at the scene, while a large area of the housing estate was sealed off, including a house where Mr Haugh had sought refuge and received first aid until ambulance paramedics arrived.

Mr Haugh was initially rushed to University Hospital Limerick (UHL).

However, while being transferred to Cork University Hospital (CUH), his condition deteriorated and the ambulance returned to UHL where he was later pronounced dead. It is believed he sustained a single knife wound.

The altercation happened over a wide area which, along with several access lanes, was sealed off pending completion of a technical examination.

According to one local, a man called to several houses in the estate knocking on doors apparently in search of Mr Haugh. A source also said that a “car load of men came down from Kilrush”. However, this has not been confirmed.

As gardaí carried out house-to-house inquiries in the Marian Estate, some residents spoke of the drama that unfolded on their doorsteps.

“I heard roaring and shouting and saw the guards arriving,” one woman said. “There were people in the laneway behind the houses across from me. I was afraid to go out because they were out of control. An ambulance arrived then and there were lots of people out of the road. It was very scary.”

It is understood that Mr Haugh, known to many as ‘Gobo’, went to the home of a friend who put pressure on the wound until an ambulance arrived from Kilrush.

“He went into another house after it happened,” said a local resident. “I heard he was talking away and didn’t seem to be badly hurt but obviously he was.”

Gardaí are also investigating whether an incident of criminal damage in the area is connected with the stabbing incident.

A car parked close to the scene had its windows and headlights smashed, while the tyres were also slashed. It is believed the car was mistaken for the victim’s vehicle and was targeted as a result. The car was removed from the scene for a technical examination.

Superintendent John Galvin confirmed there was an incident between the victim and a number of others.

He said all of the parties are from the west Clare area.

Gardaí have appointed a Family Liaison Officer for the victim’s family.

Parish priest of Kilkee, Fr Gerry Kenny, said yesterday that “it is an awful tragedy for the family concerned”.

He said: “Kilkee is a very tight knit community.”

Gardaí from Kilrush have appealed for anyone who can help with the investigation to contact them in Kilrush on 065-9080550, the Garda Confidential Telephone Line 1800-666-111, or any garda station.


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