Gardaí suspect a 60-year-old man found dead in his home in rural Co Monaghan was murdered by another man who was then knocked down and killed by a car as he fled the scene.
The murdered man was named locally on Thursday night as Christopher Mooney, who was subjected to a sustained attack, including being stabbed, at his home in Knockreagh Lower, Broomfield, that morning.
The other man was named locally as 37-year-old Kieran Hamill, with an address in Culloville, Co Armagh.
Mr Mooney was convicted almost 20 years ago of sexual offences against a young male victim.
Mr Hamill was facing a number of charges including affray and assault causing harm to a woman. He had been scheduled to appear before the courts later this month over the affray offence, allegedly committed in Castleblayney, Co Monaghan, earlier this year.
Gardaí in Castleblayney were called to Mr Mooney’s home on Thursday morning after a family member who had gone to the house found him dead and saw another man leaving the scene. About 30 minutes later, gardaí from Carrickmacross were alerted to a road traffic crash at Ballynacarry Bridge on the N53 between Castleblayney and Dundalk.
Mr Hamill had been walking northwards on the road towards the Border when he was hit by a car carrying a number of occupants. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Gardaí strongly suspect he was the man seen fleeing from the murder scene by Mr Mooney’s relative.
Any relationship or dispute between the two dead men is being examined by detectives trying to piece together the events. Gardaí searched fields and undergrowth in the area between the house and the crash scene, about 3km apart, looking for weapons or anything else of evidential value.
The two locations were sealed off throughout Thursday and underwent examinations by the Garda Technical Bureau and crash scene investigators. The remains of both men were examined by pathologists at the two scenes before being moved to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, Co Louth. Postmortem examinations are due to be held at the hospital on Friday.
Gardaí have appealed for anyone who was in the Broomfield area, where Mr Mooney was killed, between 5am and 6.45am to contact them. They have also urged any road users, especially those recording dashcam footage, who were around the scene of the crash before 7am on Thursday to come forward and share the footage.