Gardaí have identified the people they believe were on the scene when a Limerick man was fatally injured in an assault in the early hours of Sunday morning in Co Kildare.
Dylan McCarthy (29) was unresponsive after the attack in Monasterevin, in which his father was also badly injured. While the younger man was taken to Tallaght University Hospital, Dublin, his prospects of survival were regarded as poor and he was pronounced dead there on Monday.
His father, who is in his 50s, was initially treated at Portlaoise Hospital, Co Laois, but was later transferred to University Hospital Tallaght. He remained in hospital on Monday night and while he is seriously injured, he is expected to survive.
The McCarthys are from Kilmallock, Co Limerick, though Dylan McCarthy had been living in Cork of late. Some members of the family had traveled to Co Kildare for celebrations following the birth of a baby. It appears they were socialising in a pub on Dublin Street, Monasterevin, when a dispute broke out just after midnight
It was not clear exactly what caused the incident, though it spilled out onto the street, where Mr McCarthy was struck and lost consciousness. Gardaí and paramedics were called and Mr McCarthy was treated at the scene before being taken to hospital with serious head injuries.
A major criminal investigation was commenced immediately gardaí arrived on the scene at about 12.30am on Sunday. The scene, where blood was visible on the pavement, was preserved overnight and underwent at examination by members of the Garda Technical Bureau.
When Mr McCarthy was pronounced dead, the State Pathologists Office was informed and a postmortem was ordered.
Gardaí were on Monday evening awaiting the results of that examination, which would decide the direction of their investigation. While the matter was being treated as a seriously assault pending the postmortem results, all of the resources of a homicide inquiry have been committed to the case.
However, because a number of people were on the scene, and it appears Mr McCarthy was assaulted by several of them, it may take time to piece together all of the events around his death. Investigating gardaí have gathered CCTV from the area and also contacted other people who were on the scene when the dispute broke out.
An incident room has been established at Kildare Garda station. Gardaí are appealing for witnesses to this incident to come forward and for those with camera footage to make it available at Kildare Town Garda station. As the incident occurred on the street, investigating gardai believe dashcam footage recorded by drivers on Dublin St between 12.15am and 12.45am on Sunday may prove crucial.
Local representatives and sports clubs in Limerick have paid tribute to Mr McCarthy.
Sinn Féin councillor and Kilmallock resident PJ Carey, who is a friend of the family, said locals were hoping for the best after they received news of the assault and that the community has been devastated by the loss.
“It’s very grim, it’s very bleak. What can you say,” said Mr Carey. He said the McCarthys are a well like and respected family in the area.
“It has is hard to believe the way that society has gone; that two people could go in into a pub for a celebration and have this happen to them,” said Fine Gael Councillor in Limerick John Egan.
Mr McCarthy previously played for Kilmallock GAA club, which also paid tribute to him on Monday.
“It is with the heaviest of hearts that we at Kilmallock Gaa pass on our heartfelt sympathies to the family and friends of Dylan McCarthy,” the club said in a social media post.
“Dylan played underage hurling and football at underage level and also played u21 and Junior hurling . He was a huge addition to any team and a real team player always .
The club extended its sympathies to Mr McCarthy’s partner Aoife and his family and friends. “We are sorry for your great loss. We will remember Dylan always.”
Kilmallock United soccer club held a minute’s silence on Monday evening before a match.
Local priest Fr Chris O’Donnell told the Limerick Leader there is a “cloud of awful sadness over the town”.
“Everybody is heartbroken. The family are the quietest, nicest people. People would only speak good of them. It is every family’s nightmare,” said Fr O’Donnell. “There is nothing but prayers and love for them. They were just good, honest people in the wrong place at the wrong time and now we are left with this awful sense of the tragic nature of life and violence and repercussions.”