Gardai have appealed for any witnesses to come forward to the fatal assault of a 56-year-old man in a laneway in Athy on Thursday night.
A murder investigation has been launched after the victim, named locally as Larry Kane, died in Naas General Hospital in the early hours of Friday morning, July 19.
The deceased man was found in a laneway between St John’s Lane and Greenhills housing estate at around midnight. He had severe wounds to his head.
Gardai are asking anybody who was in the laneway or nearby Greenhills between 11pm and 12 midnight to contact them.
Inspector John Ferris from the Garda Press Office, who spoke at the scene of the attack on Friday afternoon, said that ‘all the ingredients of a murder investigation were in place’ adding that an incident room had been set up in Athy Garda Station. He confirmed that gardai performed CPR on the injured party before he was taken to Naas General Hospital where he later died at 5am from his injuries.
“Gardai responded to a call shortly before midnight,” he said. “Gardai from Athy arrived at the scene and found a male with serious head injuries lying in this laneway. Gardai performed CPR at the scene, an ambulance arrived a short time later and the injured party with serious injuries was taken to Naas General Hospital. Sometime around 5am, the man was pronounced dead.”
He added that the scene has been preserved for a technical examination and a post-mortem was being carried out on Friday afternoon at Naas General Hospital.
“We will have a better idea of the extent of the injuries following the post mortem,” he added.
The victim, who had served time in prison in connection with arms and bomb seizures, was well-known to gardaí as a dissident republican.
It is believed the deceased man was in frail health.
He was described by locals in Athy this morning as “a well known character around the town”. As the news spread of his passing, two bouquets of flowers and a single pink rose were placed leaning against the wall of his favourite spot near the bridge over the River Barrow.
Athy Town Councillor Mark Wall said people were “shocked and dumbfounded” in the wake of the brutal murder.
“People are really concerned for his family,” he added. “People can’t believe something like this can happen in this town.”
Detectives in Athy are appealing for anyone with information or witnesses to contact them on 059 8634210.