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Wheelchair user stabbed to death in Dublin apartment complex

The scene sealed off by gardai
The scene sealed off by gardai

A disabled Dublin man stabbed in his city home was left bleeding to death in his hallway, according to a witness who ran to his aid.

The victim of the attack, named locally as Tony Rodgers, who was in his 60s, was attacked in his home in Robinson's Court, off Cork Street in the capital yesterday.

Gardaí say the attack happened at around 2.30pm in the small, secluded estate populated mainly by elderly people.

A source said they do not believe the attack was random and that Mr Rodgers may have been deliberately targeted.

"It would appear the victim was deliberately targeted and gardaí will have to investigate if there is anything from his past or more recently that would make him vulnerable to such an attack," said one source.

Gardaí said they are following a line of inquiry in relation to the murder.

One of the first on the scene was local man David McGuinness.

"I got a panicked phone call from a friend who was shouting 'it's Tony, he's in a bad way', and so I ran down the stairs and into his hall," Mr McGuinness said.

He said Mr Rogers was in a wheelchair after having a leg amputated because he suffered from diabetes.

"The blood was pumping out of him. He was barely conscious. It was very traumatic," said Mr McGuinness. "He was there in the hall, lying on his side. I tried to help him. I got down beside him, but he couldn't speak.

"I've lived here around two years, and he was here all that time. I don't know why anyone would want to kill him."

An ambulance was called and Mr Rogers was rushed to St James's Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

A Garda spokesman said that at approximately 2.30pm, officers were alerted that a male in his 60s had received serious stab wounds in the complex.

"The scene was preserved for a technical examination and the offices of the State Pathologist have been notified," he said.

The Garda Technical Bureau carried out a forensic examination at the scene as light faded yesterday evening.

Neighbours in the quiet cul-de-sac said they were shocked at Mr Rodgers''s violent death.
"He was a lovely man. A quiet man. I can't believe what I'm hearing," said Sarah Cullen, who lived a few doors away from Mr Rogers. "It's too awful."

Gardaí at Kevin Street in Dublin are appealing to witnesses who may have been in the Robinson's Court area yesterday afternoon to contact them at the incident room on 01 666 9400, the Garda confidential telephone line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station. This is the second murder to happen in the complex, which mainly provides accommodation for the elderly.

In August 2006, Vincent Plunkett (80) was found with his throat cut in a ground-floor flat at the same complex. He was discovered by a home help who called to the apartment.

A post mortem found the pensioner suffered a violent death. Gerard Cullen Brady, then 22 and originally of Clondalkin, was later charged with the murder. He was later found dead in his prison cell while serving a 15-month sentence for theft.