Fifth arrest as investigation intensifies into man’s death outside Kerry hotel

Darragh Sheehan died in August after incident outside Gleneagle Hotel, Killarney

Gardaí investigating the death of Darragh Sheehan from Doneraile in Co Cork outside the Gleneagle Hotel in Killarney. Photograph: Eye Focus

Gardaí investigating the death of Darragh Sheehan from Doneraile in Co Cork outside the Gleneagle Hotel in Killarney. Photograph: Eye Focus


A fifth man has been arrested for questioning as gardaí in Co Kerry have intensified their investigation into the death of a man outside a hotel in the county in August.

Darragh Sheehan died from asphyxiation after he was restrained during an altercation outside the Gleneagle Hotel in Killarney out a night out on Saturday, August 29th.

The 26-year-old from Doneraile, Co Cork, had been out socialising in the period before his death outside the Gleneagle Hotel on Muckross Road, where he was staying. Gardaí believe he had been placed in a restraint position just before he died.

The case is still being treated by gardaí as one of “unexplained death”, though a criminal investigation has been under way and five people have been arrested by the investigation team in recent days.

The latest person to be questioned by the investigation team is a man in his 30s, who was arrested in Thursday morning. He has been taken to Killarney Garda station where he was detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, which allows for his detention for up to 24 hours without charge.

Two other men, aged in their 20s and 40s, were arrested on Wednesday morning and have since been released without charge as the investigation into Mr Sheehan’s death continues.

Another two men were detained on Tuesday morning and they have also been released without charge. The responses to Garda questions from all four of the men arrested and released without charge to date were set to be added to the criminal file on the case for submission to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).

On receipt of the file from the Garda, the DPP will decided who, if anyone, should face criminal charges in the case and the nature of those charges.

Mr Sheehan, who played for Doneraile GAA, was a graduate of IT Tralee, where he studied mechanical engineering. He was engaged to be married at the time of his death.

Fr Aidan Crowley from Doneraile said Mr Sheehan’s family and friends had been “heartbroken” at the news of his death. He was survived by his fiancée, Karen, as well as his parents Tom and Hannah, his brother Kevin and sister Fiona.

Mr Sheehan was staying in the Gleneagle Hotel on the weekend that he died and it appears he became involved in an altercation as he had left the hotel and was going back inside after 11pm on the night in question.

Gardaí have already interviewed some people who were on the scene of Mr Sheehan’s death have been asked about what happened. CCTV recorded in the environs of the hotel was also sought by the investigation team. Gardaí were also examining the response times of those present in assisting Mr Sheehan when it became clear he was in distress.

The results of a postmortem carried out on Mr Sheehan’s remains at University Hospital Kerry have not been released for “operational reasons”. However, it is understood asphyxiation was at the centre of the cause of death and that the deceased had been restrained during an altercation shortly before he died.