Attack on Cork family may be related to family dispute, gardaí say

Woman now in stable condition after undergoing emergency surgery

Gardaí say investigations are continuing. Photograph: Frank Miller

Gardaí say investigations are continuing. Photograph: Frank Miller

 

Gardaí believe that a knife attack which left a 47-year-old woman in critical condition and her three children needing hospital treatment may be related to a long standing family dispute.

Detectives have established that the man who forced his way into a house at Middle Glanmire Road in Montenotte in Cork just after 11pm on Monday was well known to the family who had just returned home when he attacked them

Gardaí have established the man was wearing a balaclava when he entered the house through the front door armed with a knife but he removed the balaclava before he began attacking the woman and her family.

It is understood the man stabbed the 47-year-old woman in the chest while he also stabbed her 26-year-old daughter in the upper body and her ten-year-old son in the side while her 18-year-old daughter escaped with minor injuries.

It’s understood that one of the family managed to disarm the man and ran next door to raise the alarm and two neighbours came to the assistance of the injured people and contacted the emergency services.

The three most seriously injured victims were treated at the scene by paramedics before being taken to Cork University Hospital where there were treated for injuries described as “serious but not life-threatening.”

However, the condition of the 47-year-old woman began to deteriorate during the night and she was rushed to theatre to undergo emergency surgery and she remained critical for a period but is now described as being stable.

Meanwhile gardaí had also been alerted and uniformed officers from Mayfield, backed up by armed members of the Regional Support Unit, arrested a 55-year-old man a short distance away at his home in the Silversprings area.

The man was detained at Mayfield Garda Station under the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act which allows gardaí detain suspects for up to 24 hours before they have to be charged or released.

Gardaí are this evening (Christmas Eve) continuing to question the man about the attack which they believe may be related to a dispute going back a number of years between members of the same extended family.

Gardaí have taken witness statements from both the 10-year-old boy who has been discharged from hospital and his 18-year-old sister while their 26-year-old sister and mother remain in hospital undergoing treatment.

They have also begun door to door inquiries along the Middle Glanmire Road and have begun examining CCTV footage from the general Montenotte and Mayfield areas to see if it can assist them in their investigation.

Garda technical experts carried out a forensic examination of three separate scenes – the house where the attack happened, the adjacent neighbour’s house where members of the family fled and the house of the suspect.

And it’s understood that garda technical experts recovered a knife which they believe was used in the attack in the neighbour’s house after it was brought there by one of the victims when they managed to disarm the attacker.

Gardaí have appealed to anyone who noticed anything suspicious in the Middle Glanmire Road and Silversprings areas between 10.30pm and 11.30pm to contact them at Mayfield Garda Station on 021-4558510.