Stabbing victim’s death second tragedy to hit Co Clare family

Karl Haugh’s teenage sister and friend died in crash in which he was critically injured

Stabbing victim: Karl Haugh, from Kilkee, Co Clare, died in an attack near his home. Photograph: Facebook

Stabbing victim: Karl Haugh, from Kilkee, Co Clare, died in an attack near his home. Photograph: Facebook


The 25-year-old man who was fatally stabbed in Co Clare on Sunday morning lost his teenage sibling in a car crash in which her friend also died and in which he was critically injured.

Karl Haugh, who was 11 at the time, his 16-year-old sister, Stacey, and her 13-year-old friend Lorna Mahoney had been passengers in an Opel Kadett being driven by David Naughton, who was 15. The girls were killed when the car hit a sea wall in the fishing village of Carrigaholt at 110km/h.

Mr Haugh, whose family live at the Marion estate in Kilkee, told gardaí at the time that Stacey and Lorna had both asked Naughton to slow down but that he had refused. Another driver saw Naughton driving aggressively before he crashed. Doctors gave Mr Haugh, who needed heart surgery after the collision, only a 20 per cent chance of survival as a result of his injuries, but he made a full recovery.

When the director of public prosecutions appealed the leniency of Naughton’s three-year prison sentence, after he pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing the teenagers’ deaths, Mr Justice Joseph Finnegan described what happened to the victims as horrific and doubled the sentence, to six years.

Naughton was extradited from the UK to face the dangerous-driving charges after absconding while on bail. At the time of the crash he had been living at Westside House, a unit for homeless adolescents in Galway city.

“A tragedy for the family”

On Sunday Fr Gerry Kenny, the parish priest of Kilkee, called Mr Haugh’s death a tragedy for the family. A former county councillor, Patrick Keane, also expressed condolences. “It is so tragic for the Haugh family that they have lost Karl now. It is the second tragedy to hit them.”

Gardaí were continuing to question a 22-year-old man from the nearby town of Kilrush. He was arrested shortly after the stabbing, which occurred at 1.15am near the Haugh family home. Gardaí have also arrested two other men, both from west Co Clare, and recovered a knife believed to have been used in the attack. Mr Haugh is understood to have been wounded in the back. Supt John Galvin confirmed that there was an incident between the victim and several others.

Mr Haugh was brought to University Hospital Limerick, where he died during surgery at 6am on Sunday. A postmortem being carried out by Dr Michael Curtis, the deputy State pathologist, will confirm the extent of his injuries.

Gardaí have sealed off the scene of the attack and been carrying out house-to-house inquiries. They are also looking for any CCTV footage of the attack.