Gardaí believe dispute at card game led to Cavan killing

Polish man Marek Swider stabbed to death on New Year’s Eve in Ballyjamesduff

Gardaí have begun their first murder inquiry of the new year after a postmortem on the remains of a man killed in Cavan found he was stabbed to death.

The victim was fatally injured at about 11pm on New Year's Eve in Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan.

He initially survived and was taken to Cavan General Hospital for emergency treatment.

However, efforts to save him failed and he was pronounced dead at about 9.30am on Monday.


The dead man has been named locally as Marek Swider, a Polish national who had been living in Cavan for about a decade.

Gardaí believe Mr Swider had been celebrating the approaching new year playing cards with a number of friends.

Detectives are working on the theory that a dispute broke out inside a house on Dublin Road. It then spilled out on to the street, where Mr Swider was stabbed.

The dead man had been living in the house with a number of other people. Gardaí believe those in the group Mr Swider was playing cards with will be able to supply information that solves the case.

The deceased was a single man in his 40s who had come to Ireland to find work. It is understood he had been working in a meat processing plant in Cavan.

When gardaí arrived at the crime scene on Sunday night they sealed off the area. Members of the Garda Technical Bureau carried out an examination of the house and the area outside the property.

When Mr Swider’s death was confirmed gardaí began an suspicious death inquiry, which has since been upgraded to murder.

Gardaí in Bailieborough are carrying out the inquiry and have appealed for any motorists driving on Dublin Road between 10.30pm and midnight to come forward. They are particularly keen to speak to motorists passing the area at the time and who may have been recording with dashcams.

Gardaí have also appealed to members of the Polish community to come forward and assist the inquiry.

Mr Swider’s family has been contacted by the Garda and a family liaison officer appointed to help them.

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times