Family devastated by killing of ‘lovely’ son

THE heartbroken mother of brutally-slain 22-year-old Séamus O’Toole said yesterday the family was devastated on hearing of their “lovely” son’s tragic death.

Séamus, son of John and Annette O’Toole, Emly Road in Hospital, was found stabbed to death on Tuesday night inside a house at Catherine Place at 11.50pm with a number of stab wounds to the upper body.

“We are completely shocked and devastated. We still can’t believe that this has happened,’’ said Mrs O’Toole.

“Séamus was a lovely lad. He was my eldest child and such a hardworking person, who never caused a bit of trouble. He was really interested in sports and played soccer for Hospital. He was a great lad and very well liked.’’

A preliminary post-mortem carried out by Deputy State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy found the man’s death was consistent with injuries being inflicted to the upper body by stabbing.

Gardaí are baffled as to the reason for the vicious attack. “We are still trying to establish a motive for this brutal killing. We have established that the victim had been in a pub before the incident, and we are seeking public assistance in tracing the victim’s final movements as he made his way to stay at his brother’s flat,’’ said Garda Inspector Gerry McNamara.

The victim had been wearing navy corduroy jeans and navy T-shirt on the night he was killed.

“All lines of inquiry are being pursued, including the possibility of robbery,’’ added Inspector McNamara.

Members of the National Bureau of Investigation from Dublin are assisting local gardaí in trying to find clues to the identity of the young man’s killers.

The weapon used, believed to be a knife or some other type of sharp instrument, has still not been found. The murder has shocked the community in Hospital, where the deceased lived with his parents, John and Annette, and brothers Seán, Liam and sisters Áine and Siobhán. The students and staff of Saint John the Baptist Community School where Séamus completed his Leaving Cert in 1998 are “shocked and saddened’’ by his tragic death. “This is a terrible tragedy, ’’ said deputy principal Mary Jones.

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