A 32-year-old man is expected to be charged this morning in connection with the death of Michael O’Dwyer in Tramore.
Gardaí believe Mr O’Dwyer, 25, from Kilkenny City but living near Stoneyford in the county with his mother, was stabbed at least once in the chest just before midnight on Thursday.
His younger brother Conor said the family was devastated and that their mother, Geraldine, was too upset to talk about the tragedy.
He described Michael as “a great brother” who was “very quiet”, and that they didn’t know what he was doing in Tramore.
Detectives said Mr O’Dwyer and his attacker were drinking in a rented house at Seafield Holiday Cottages when the assailant pulled a knife.
“There was nothing out of the ordinary beforehand,” said a Garda source. “He just took out a knife and did it. There was no row, nothing spoken, just bump.”
He said there was “nothing out of the ordinary” in relation to the suspect’s background, for instance, in relation to medication or psychiatric history.
Gardaí said the pair, described as family friends, had been drinking on Thursday, but that the level of drinking was “not extraordinary”. They were joined at some stage by three others, also from Kilkenny.
One of the them left, but two others were there when the attack happened. Gardaí have spoken to all of them.
A 999 call was made at around 11.30pm on Thursday. Gardaí and ambulance crews found Mr O’Dwyer slumped outside the house, seriously injured. He was brought by ambulance to Waterford Regional Hospital, but was pronounced dead at about 1am yesterday.
Gardaí broke into the house and arrested a 32-year-old man at 11.40pm and detained him under the Criminal Justice Act. Prof Marie Cassidy, the state pathologist, was notified and an autopsy was carried out.
A crime scene investigation team combed the area but no weapon was found. Detectives still expect to have enough evidence to convince the DPP to bring charges today.
The victim was the second youngest of five boys and lived with his mother in a bungalow close to the village of Stoneyford. His father died about two-and-a-half years ago and it is understood the family moved from the Newpark area of Kilkenny City after that bereavement.
His uncle PJ, a brother of Geraldine O’Dwyer, said Michael was “a lovely, quiet young fella” and that the death was “an awful blow” to the family. “She is heartbroken,” he said of his sister.
A neighbour in Newpark said: “Michael was a lovely, lovely child who wouldn’t cause harm to anyone.”
Anyone who saw anything suspicious between 10pm and 12pm on Thursday to contact Tramore station on 051 391620 or the Garda Confidential Line, 1800 666111.