Two Dublin stabbings linked to same group of teenagers

Boy (15) attacked in Churchtown minutes after Azzam Raguragui (18) fatally wounded

Abdul Raguaragui whose son Azzam (18) died following a stabbing in Finsbury Park, Dundrum, south Dublin spoke briefly to the media at the funeral of his son at Clonskeagh Mosque. Video: Collins Photo Agency

 

Gardaí believe a group of youths who allegedly killed Azzam Raguragui in south Dublin last week stabbed another teenager minutes later, leaving him critically injured.

While news of the second stabbing had emerged previously, Garda sources have now confirmed the attacks were linked.

The Irish Times has also learned that the number of knives seized in parts of Dublin has more than doubled in the past two years.

One line of inquiry into last Friday’s attacks is that Mr Raguragui’s killer was present when the second victim, aged 15 years, was stabbed. The victim lost a large quantity of blood as he tried to get away.

Mr Raguragui (18) was on his way to Friday prayers at Clonskeagh mosque with a number of other Muslim teenagers when they came upon another group of teenagers at Finsbury Park, Dundrum, at 8.10pm.

An effort was made by the other group to steal Mr Raguragui’s bike. When he resisted, one of the teenagers in the other group stabbed Mr Raguragui, who slipped as he tried to flee before being fatally wounded.

The suspected killer, who is understood to have told gardaí he acted in self-defence, then fled the area on foot with the others in his group.

Ten minutes later, a member of the same group stabbed a 15-year-old boy on Nutgrove Avenue in Churchtown, 2km away. While his injuries were not regarded as life-threatening, the victim suffered a considerable injury resulting in significant blood loss.

It had emerged last week the number of knives being seized across the country had risen by 60 per cent in three years; from 1,197 knives in 2016 to 1,936 last year.

Figures obtained from the Garda reveal half of that increase was spread across the six Garda divisions that cover Dublin city and county.

Lowest

In the Dublin Metropolitan Region (DMR) East division, where last week’s attacks occurred, some 35 knives were seized in 2016 and 66 were seized last year. That was the lowest by far of the six divisions in Dublin.

However, in the DMR Northern division covering the north of Dublin outside the inner city, some 86 knives were seized in 2016, increasing to 183 last year. In DMR North Central, covering the north inner city and areas close to it, 192 knives were seized last year, up from 100 in 2016.

In DMR South Central, covering the south inner city and areas close to it, some 194 knives were seized last year compared with 129 in 2016. The DMR Southern division saw no increase in seizures; 96 seized in both 2016 and last year. And in DMR Western some 168 knives were seized last year, up from 100 in 2016.

The only other Garda division in the country, of 28, where more than 100 knives were seized last year was Cork City; with 101 seizures.

Some other divisions witnessed an approximate doubling of knife seizures between 2016 and 2018, but off a very low base of between 15 and 35 seizures in 2016. They include: Cork North, Laois-Offaly, Meath, Sligo-Leitrim.

Meanwhile, gardaí in Cork are investigating two separate incidents.

A man in his 30s was slashed across the face at Glenryan Road off Wolfe Tone Street on the city’s northside at about 11pm on Thursday. Gardaí arrested a man in his 20s nearby and brought him to Gurranabraher Garda station for questioning.

Separately, gardaí are investigating after a man was left in a serious condition when he was stabbed during a row between rival groups late on Wednesday night on Curraheen Road in Bishopstown. The man underwent emergency surgery at Cork University Hospital after losing a significant amount of blood from his injuries.