Passers-by may be key in murder inquiry

People on their way home from a night out could hold vital clues to gardaí investigating the murder of a 31-year-old man in a row that spilled into a Cork City street in the early hours of yesterday.

The victim of the stabbing was named last night as Mark Hanlon from Lotamore in Mayfield on the city’s northside.

A man and a woman arrested at the scene, both in their mid-20s, were being questioned by gardaí last night in relation to the incident that started with a row in an apartment on Infirmary Road, between the South Infirmary-Victoria University Hospital and South Terrace.

Gardaí said the row continued onto the street and the victim was seriously assaulted.

Blood still stained the centre of the road yesterday, about 20 metres from the front of the building, as a garda forensic team continued its technical examination of the apartment.

Footpaths were cordoned off around 200 metres either side of the building for most of the day, as was part of Sawmill Street to the side of the complex, as gardaí continued the search for the weapon .

Mr Hanlon was attended by paramedics on the street where he fell between 2am and 2.15am yesterday. He was taken by ambulance to Cork University Hospital but was pronounced dead there at around 3am.

A post-mortem examination carried out yesterday by State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy confirmed he died after being stabbed.

Gardaí believe around a dozen people were in the apartment. Superintendent Barry McPolin, head of the Anglesea Street garda district, said detectives have interviewed some of the people in the apartment and were identifying others yesterday.

But he appealed for potential witnesses in the area at the time who could help the investigation.

“It’s a very busy roadway, just off Cork City centre and you would have people socialising at night time in the city centre making their way home or going to other parts of the city,” he said.

“We would ask them if they were passing here, be it on the footpath, in a car or a taxi, or indeed taxi drivers, if they saw or heard anything, would they please come forward to us with any information. No matter how inconsequential it appears, how small it might be, we’ll determine whether or not it’s important,” Supt McPolin said.

It was the second serious stabbing incident in the city since Friday, but Supt McPolin said Cork does not to have too many incidents like this.

“Cork as a city is relatively quiet in contrast to other cities of similar size and it’s an isolated incident. I couldn’t say that it is indicative of an increase in crime, particularly knife crime, here in Cork city,” he said.

The man and woman in custody can potentially be held until late this morning before gardaí must release or charge them.

Ted Tynan, local councillor in the city’s north-east ward, said Mark Hanlon grew up in the Mayfield area and people who knew the family were very upset to hear what had happened: “Himself and his partner have an eight-year old son, which makes it even more of a tragedy. He was due to make his First Communion in the next few weeks.”

* Anyone with information is asked to contact Anglesea Street garda station on 021 4522000 or any garda station. Gardaí have also appealed to two taxi drivers that passed the scene at the time of the incident


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