Three arrested after man dies in stabbing in Co Clare

Gardaí appeal for witnesses following fatal early-morning attack in Kilkee

 

Gardaí were on Sunday night questioning three men following a fatal stabbing of a man in Kilkee, Co Clare, on Sunday morning.

Karl Haugh (25) is understood to have been stabbed once in the back.

A 22-year-old man from the nearby town of Kilrush was arrested at the scene shortly after the stabbing, which occurred at 1.15am near the Haugh family home at Marion Estate, Kilkee.

Gardaí later arrested two other men, both from west Co Clare, and also recovered a knife believed to have been used in the attack. It is understood the victim and his attackers were known to each other.

The altercation happened over a wide area which, along with several access lanes, was sealed off pending completion of a technical examination.

Mr Haugh was brought to University Hospital Limerick, where he died during surgery at 6am on Sunday.

A postmortem was due to be carried out by Dr Michael Curtis, the deputy State pathologist.

Gardaí sealed off the scene of the attack and carried out house-to-house inquiries. They are also looking for any CCTV footage of the attack, and are investigating whether an incident of criminal damage in the area is connected with the stabbing. A car parked close to the scene had its windows and headlights smashed, while the tyres were also slashed.

The Garda Armed Support Unit has been requested to carry out patrols in the Kilrush and Kilkee areas amid fears of a reprisal.

A house in Kilrush, thought to be the home of one of the suspects, was attacked early on Sunday with several windows being smashed, while a van parked nearby was also damaged.

Gardaí have appealed to witnesses who may have been in the area at the time of the stabbing or have information to contact them at Kilrush Garda station on 065-9080550, via the Garda confidential telephone line on 1800-666111 or at any other Garda station.

Car crash

Mr Haugh previously survived a car crash in 2003 in which his teenage sister and her friend were killed.

Mr Haugh, who was 11 at the time, his 16-year-old sister Stacey, and her 13-year-old friend Lorna Mahoney had been passengers in a 1984 Opel Kadett being driven by David Naughton, who was 15. The car had been bought for €60.

The girls were killed when the car hit a sea wall in the fishing village of Carrigaholt at more than 100km/h.

Mr Haugh told gardaí at the time that Stacey and Lorna had both asked Naughton to slow down but he had refused. Another driver saw Naughton driving aggressively before he crashed.

Mr Haugh was critically injured and needed heart surgery after the collision, Doctors gave him a 20 per cent chance of survival as a result of his injuries, but he made a full recovery.

When the Director of Public Prosecutions appealed the leniency of Naughton’s three-year prison sentence, after he pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing the teenagers’ deaths, Mr Justice Joseph Finnegan described what happened to the victims as horrific and doubled the sentence to six years.

Extradited

Naughton was extradited from the UK to face the dangerous-driving charges after absconding while on bail. At the time of the crash he had been living at Westside House, a unit for homeless adolescents in Galway city.

On Sunday, Fr Gerry Kenny, the parish priest of Kilkee, called Mr Haugh’s death a tragedy for the family.

Former Fianna Fáil county councillor Patrick Keane expressed his condolences. “It is so tragic for the Haugh family that they have lost Karl now. It is the second tragedy to hit them.”

Mr Keane, the chairman of the Kilkee Development Association, said people woke up on Sunday morning “and were completely shocked at the news as nothing like this ever happens in Kilkee”.