Charges expected over three stabbings

Gardaí are hoping to bring charges in connection with three stabbings since Christmas Eve which left two men dead, one in intensive care, and another seriously injured.

In the most recent incident, a 22-year-old man sustained stab wounds in the early hours of yesterday on the main square in Thurles, Co Tipperary.

The man was attacked on Liberty Square after a night socialising in the town in what gardaí suspect is a local, Traveller-related row.

The man is described as being in a “serious but stable condition”. A man in his 30s was arrested by gardaí and is being questioned in Thurles Garda Station. Detectives are hopeful of progress in the case.

It followed two stabbings in Dublin and Wexford, which left two men, a 26-year-old and a 48-year-old, dead, and a third man, aged 22, in a critical condition.

A Christmas party in Shankill, south Dublin, turned to tragedy early on St Stephen’s Day when David Spain, who had flown back from Australia to be with his family, died from stab wounds.

A friend of his, Sean Turner, was also stabbed in what gardaí said was a row over a debt of as little as €50. Detectives said Mr Turner was seriously injured and is still in intensive care.

It is thought that Mr Turner, a boxing champion, had approached a man about repaying money that was owed.

A row flared outside the party and the other man ran to his own house, got a knife, and stabbed Mr Turner, who was unarmed.

At some stage, Mr Spain came to his friend’s aid and was also stabbed by the man, sustaining fatal knife wounds.

The attack happened just yards from Mr Spain’s parents’ house, where the party was being held.

The victim’s father, David Spain Sr, said his son and a friend had left the party to check on Mr Turner.

“David saw his friend on the ground. He ran after the guy he thought had carried out the attack,” he said.

“In the meantime, David’s friend was helping Sean on the ground. But while he was helping Sean he looked over and saw David lying on the ground.”

He added: “I ran outside and around the corner and my wife [Iris] ran out after me. One of the other lads, Darren, was holding David down to try and keep in the blood. We’re all devastated and shocked.”

Gardaí arrested a man in his early 30s. His period of detention was due to expire last night, and he is expected to appear at Bray District Court this morning to face charges over the incident.

The death came after the fatal stabbing of John Lawlor just before midnight on Christmas Eve at his home in Courtown, Co Wexford.

He had been out socialising that evening but was followed home and attacked.

A man, a relative of the deceased, was arrested shortly afterwards.

He was later released pending a file to the DPP.

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