NewsCrime Desk

Man killed with samurai sword in Tallaght mob attack

Karl Holmes
Karl Holmes

A 45-year-old man was brutally murdered with a razor sharp samurai sword after he was set upon by a mob in Tallaght.

The victim, named locally as former boxer Karl Holmes, was attacked in the Avonbeg Gardens estate shortly before 5.30pm yesterday.

It is understood that Mr Holmes, a well-known local criminal from Homelawn Drive in Tallaght, arrived in the area around the corner from his home to settle a bitter dispute.

Sources said Mr Holmes was planning to confront associates of a dissident republican, over an alleged attack on a young person, when he was murdered.

A number of people are suspected of being involved in the brutal attack and it is understood that Mr Holmes was attacked with a samurai sword as well as "blunt instruments".

He received a number of horrific injuries to his body.

Mr Holmes was pronounced dead in Tallaght Hospital at around 6pm. Neighbours said that Mr Holmes, who was a father of young children, was a talented boxer in his youth and previously represented Ireland.

He was previously jailed for five years for causing grievous bodily harm to an acquaintance who died three days after being head-butted.

The then-21-year-old took his victim, Thomas Weekes, then 19, to his home after the assault to have his injury cleaned up.

After being released from jail for this crime, Holmes continued to have brushes with the law including being jailed for 12 months at Dublin Circuit Court in October 2009, for being part of a "cartel" who defrauded the Revenue of almost €53,000.

Last night, residents in Avonbeg Gardens said that they saw the aftermath of the horrific incident.

A 34-year-old woman said she saw two women trying to help the victim as he lay unconscious on the roadway.

"A lot of people had gathered around where it happened. I could see the man lying on the road," she said. "There were two women kneeling beside him trying to help him. They had put a jumper or a jacket under his head to try and make him comfortable. He was lying on his side but he didn't appear to be moving."

Neighbours in Homelawn Drive, where the victim's parents have lived for decades, said their thoughts are with his family. "I've known him since he was a little boy growing up. He came from a very nice family," one neighbour said. "He was great for visiting his mother and father.

"And our hearts go out to his own children who are still very young. He was a boxer when he was younger and boxed for Ireland." No arrests had been made last night but sources said that gardai were following a definite line of enquiry in relation to Ireland's latest murder.

Ken Foy and Alan O'Keeffe