Man arrested in murder probe may face court today

SENIOR gardaí in Limerick were in talks last night with the office of the DPP about charging a man in connection with the murder of retired Eircom technician Martin Purcell.

Depending on these talks, a man arrested on Sunday may be brought before a court this morning.

Mr Purcell’s body was found last Friday in his rented apartment in Wickham St. An autopsy revealed he had received multiple stab wounds.

Mr Purcell, 54, lived alone. He was separated from his wife who had moved to Britain with their children.

The arrested man, aged 32, is originally from Limerick, and had lived in different parts of the country before returning to Limerick. He is being held under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

His period of detention, which was extended twice by Chief Superintendent David Sheahan and Superintendent Frank O’Brien, expired last night.

However, if the DPP instructs gardaí to charge him, he can be held tonight and brought before Limerick District Court at 10.30am.

Searches continued yesterday in the Wickham St area, and a lane between it and Upper Gerald Griffin St was cordoned off.

Gardaí are understood to have located the murder weapon and this, along with a number of other items, have been sent to the state forensic laboratory for examination.

The murder of Mr Purcell has caused shock and anger. Friends described him as a quiet man who loved music.

Supt O’Brien said that gardaí have received a huge response to their public appeal.

“People have been appalled at this,” he said.

“Mr Purcell was a man who was well liked and came from a very decent Limerick family.”

Hundreds of mourners last night attended the removal of Mr Purcell’s remains from Cross’s funeral home to St Brigid’s Church, Dublin Road.

Burial will take place at Mount St Lawrence Cemetery following 11am Mass in St Brigid’s Church.

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