Family's appeal: ‘Go and find the man who put him in the grave’

Gareth ‘Garzy’ O’Connor
Gareth ‘Garzy’ O’Connor

The family of a father-of-three killed by a single punch to the head yesterday issued a tearful plea, saying: “Go and find the people who put him in the grave.”

Relatives of talented soccer player Gareth ‘Garzy’ O’Connor yesterday gathered outside the family home in Harelawn Avenue, Clondalkin, in Dublin, as they struggled to come to terms with his sudden loss, following a violent attack in Dublin’s Temple Bar on Thursday.

Gareth (27), passed away at about 5.30pm on Friday, almost 24 hours after being attacked.

He was socialising with a group of friends, including his brother and nephew, when they were attacked by another group. The incident happened at about 8.45pm on Thursday evening at Cow’s Lane, Temple Bar.

One heartbroken relative yesterday told the Sunday World: “We’ve no answers. Go and find the people who put him in the grave. Find out who did this to him.”

Four people who were being held in connection with the attack were released without charge yesterday and a file is now being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

After Mr O’Connor was struck, the 33-year old man who allegedly punched him was attacked himself and knocked unconscious.

The suspect, who is from the Hartstown area of Dublin’s northside, was brought to St James’s Hospital for treatment for facial injuries. He was later  taken to Irishtown Garda Station for questioning. 

He is well known to Gardai for previous incidents.

 Gareth ‘Garzy’ O’Connor

A second man, an associate of the Hartstown man, from Killester was also arrested and quizzed in Kevin Street Garda Station.

Another two men, aged 35 and 27, who are suspected of assaulting Mr O’Connor’s attacker were also arrested and questioned in Pearse Street Garda Station. 

Gardai investigating the assault are interested in speaking to a number of people who they believe recorded the attack on their mobile phones.

O’Connor’s family have appealed online to the people who took these recordings to come forward. 

Tributes last night poured in for Mr O’Connor, who played soccer for Lucan club Arthur Griffith Park.

A post on the club’s Facebook page stated: “Terrible news to hear of the passing of one of our players earlier today. RIP Gareth ‘Garzy’ O’Connor. We will all miss you so much.”