Taoiseach expresses condolences to family of Japanese man killed in Dundalk attack

Gardaí have not found evidence of terrorism link to Yosuke Sasaki’s killing, says Varadkar

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orban, hold a joint news conference in Budapest, Hungary, on Thursday. Photograph: Bernadett Szabo/Reuters

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has expressed his condolences to the family of a Japanese man killed in an attack in Dundalk.

Yosuke Sasaki (24) was stabbed to death in Dundalk shortly before 9am on Wednesday. An 18-year-old man appeared at Dundalk District Court at 6.50pm on Thursday accused of his murder.

Two Irish men were injured the same day in incidents in the town that have been linked to Mr Sasaki’s killing.

"I want to express my condolences, particularly to the family of the man from Japan who was killed in the attack," the Taoiseach said during a visit to Hungary.


"I understand the man came to work in Ireland just over year ago, and it must be a very difficult time for his family to hear the news that a person who came to live in a peaceful country was killed in what may very well turn out to be a random attack," he said.

“I also want to send my best wishes to the people who were injured.”

The Taoiseach said he wanted “to offer to my congratulations and thanks to the gardaí for acting so swiftly and dealing with the attack within 45 minutes, and I’m sure preventing further loss of life and injury.”

Speedy recovery

The Taoiseach said gardaí had not found evidence of a terrorism link to Mr Sasaki’s killing. “But all lines of inquiry remain open,” he said.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan also expressed his sympathy to Mr Sasaki's friends and family and wished the two injured men a speedy recovery.

He too praised the work of gardaí involved in the incident and cautioned about people jumping to conclusions over the attacks.

“There has, understandably, been speculation and concern about the motivation for this attack ... and I would caution against drawing judgments until the gardaí can establish the facts in the course of their investigation,” he said.

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams, a TD for Co Louth, said: "I want to express my deep sense of shock at the brutal murder of Yosuke Sasaki in Dundalk and the wounding of two other citizens."

Daniel McLaughlin

Daniel McLaughlin

Daniel McLaughlin is a contributor to The Irish Times from central and eastern Europe