EXCLUSIVE | 

Man arrested over stab death of Tom Dooley at Kerry cemetery had been in feud with victim

“There was a feud stretching back seven or eight years between Tom and a number of others,” a source told the Sunday World.

Tommy Dooley (inset) and gardai at the scene in Tralee

Thomas ‘Tommy’ Dooley

Garda seal off area at Rath Cemetery, Tralee on Wednesday afternoon. Photo: Mark O'Sullivan

Patrick O'ConnellSunday World

A man in his 30s who was arrested over the fatal stabbing of Thomas ‘Tommy’ Dooley at a cemetery in Tralee yesterday was well known to the deceased and had been feuding with the dead man for a number of years.

The Sunday World has learned that among the incidents associated with the feud was a petrol bomb attack on well liked Mr Dooley’s home in Ballyspillane two years ago.

A source, with intimate knowledge of the situation, confirmed to the Sunday World that a third party had been brought in by a senior family member to try and calm the situation following the petrol bomb attack – and hostilities associated with the feud had abated in the wake of this move.

However, a separate disagreement occurred within the past 12 months that reignited tensions.

“There was a feud stretching back seven or eight years between Tom and a number of others,” a source told the Sunday World.

“It started with niggling things and then took on a life of its own.

“A couple of years back there was a petrol bomb thrown at Tom’s front door on Hazel Wood Drive.

“Thankfully the fire was caught before it spread and the damage was limited to the front door.

“A third party was asked to make informal approaches and he spoke with the parties involved.

"Because there was a fear from senior family members that it could have led to a killing if it wasn’t sorted.

Garda seal off area at Rath Cemetery, Tralee on Wednesday afternoon. Photo: Mark O'Sullivan

“It did abate afterwards but there were still tensions.

"Then about eight months ago another issue arose, and without getting into the finer details, the tensions escalated again.”

The man now detained by gardai was arrested in the Wilton area of Cork city in the early hours of this morning.

Tom Dooley was stabbed to death on Wednesday just yards from the cemetery after attending the funeral mass of a young woman who had passed away suddenly.

He was attacked by a group of men outside New Rath cemetery at Rathass in Tralee where a large crowd had gathered for the funeral of a young Killarney mother.

His wife Siobhan also suffering serious injuries as she desperately tried to protect him following a violent confrontation after a funeral.

A garda spokesman said of this morning arrest: “He was arrested in the early hours of this morning, Thursday 6th October, in Cork and is currently detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984 at Tralee Garda Station.

“A post-mortem examination is expected to be carried out by Dr Collis, Office of the State Pathologist, at University Hospital Kerry, Tralee later this morning.

“Investigating Gardaí continue to appeal for witnesses to come forward and for any person with camera footage to make it available to them.

“Anyone with information is asked to contact the incident room at Tralee Garda Station on 066 710 2300, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.

“The investigation is ongoing and further updates will follow.”

Mr Dooley’s death has sent shockwaves through the local community in Kerry.

Despite desperate efforts by paramedics to stabilise his condition in the wake of the attack, he died minutes later before he could be taken to the nearby University Hospital Kerry (UHK).

Wife Siobhan was rushed to the hospital where she was scheduled to undergo emergency surgery.


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