Two people, a 25-year-old woman and a 27-year-old man, were still being questioned by detectives last night following their arrests, several hours after Monday’s stabbing of the 59-year-old.
A friend, Shane Mitchell of Dervish, joined musicians in tribute to the memory of Mr Kivlehan who was found dead at his apartment home in Holborn Street, Sligo.
Mr Mitchell remembered playing with the victim in pubs in the 1970s, including now-defunct Corky’s close to Mr Kivlehan’s home.
“He was a wonderful musician. He was a gifted guitar player and later on he took up the banjo and the mandolin.
“Every musician in Sligo is devastated by Matt’s death. It is a tragedy.”
Mr Mitchell said the murder victim will be remembered by musicians at next week’s Fleadh Cheoil in Sligo. He added: “He wouldn’t have been part of the main events but he would have played in the pubs during last year’s fleadh. He came from a very musical family.”
X Factor star Tabby Callaghan, who came third in the first series of the contest, remembered as a teenager listening to Mr Kivlehan playing in a group called the Not Wells.
The rocker said: “Music for me started with Matt and the lads from the Not Wells in the Punchbowl and Connolly’s pubs.
“He was a great banjo player and a carpenter and always would stop for a chat.
“Deepest heartfelt condolences to the Kivlehan family at this sad time!”
Tabby added: “What has this world come to? It’s just awful. A harmless auld skin was Matt – and, yes, a great musician too.”
The arrested man and woman were detained under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984 at Sligo Garda station.
The alert was raised after the body of Mr Kivlehan was discovered at lunchtime on Monday in his home where he had lived alone.
There was evidence he had been stabbed and gardaí found a knife close to his body.
He received regular callers at his home.
A postmortem was conducted yesterday by deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtin at Sligo General Hospital.
Gardai said: “The preliminary results from the postmortem examination have been furnished to investigating gardaí, details of which are not being released for operational reasons.
“Following the postmortem, gardaí can confirm that Martin Kivlehan died of stab wounds and a murder investigation has commenced.”
Investigating gardaí appealed for witnesses who may have been in the vicinity of Holborn Street between 10pm on Sunday and 1pm on bank holiday Monday to contact the incident room at Sligo Garda Station 071-9157000, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.