The whole of County Mayo was shocked this week following two stabbing incidents in the space of three days which saw one man killed and a garda require emergency surgery. Gardaí have arrested people in connection with both incidents, the first which took place in Westport on Sunday last at 1am, when a garda was stabbed. A youth has appeared in court this week in relation to those charges.
Two men have been arrested in relation to the incident which killed 24-year-old Frankie (Francis ) Heneghan, Kinturk, Ballyheane, Castlebar, a construction worker and father of two. Mr Heneghan was found in a lane at the back of Main Street in Kiltimagh at 12.45am on Wednesday. Gardaí arrested a man in his mid twenties in Kiltimagh on Wednesday and a second man (23 ) was arrested yesterday morning (Thursday ). Both men are currently being detained at Swinford Garda Station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.
Gardaí are again appealing to members of the public who may have information in relation to this incident or who may have been in the area between 12 midnight and 1am on August 12 to contact Swinford Garda Station on 094 925 2990, the Garda Confidential Line 1-800-666-111 or any Garda Station.
A post mortem carried out in Mayo General Hospital on Mr Heneghan, who was the youngest in a family of nine, on Wednesday afternoon found that he died as a result of multiple stab wounds.
Also on Wednesday afternoon a youth appeared at the vacation sitting of Castlebar District Court to face charges arising out of the incident in Westport in the early hours of Sunday morning. The youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is accused of stabbing Garda Daryl Mullen on James Street in Westport at 1am on Sunday, August 9. The youth who had previously been remanded to St Patrick’s Institution on Monday last at a special sitting of Mullingar District Court to appear back in Castlebar, had his period of remand extended on consent from both parties to St Patrick’s Institution to appear in Westport District Court on September 3. Judge Conall Gibbons who also sat at the special sitting of Mullingar District Court last Monday also ordered that the youth continue to receive medical and psychiatric attention in the institution as he had ordered on Monday.
Garda Mullen, a member of the divisional drugs unit who is a native of Tuam, Co Galway was stabbed in his stomach and required emergency surgery in the early hours of Sunday morning for his injuries and was placed in intensive care, but is now in a stable condition in the hospital.
There has been widespread condemnation of the incidents throughout the county. Cathaoirleach of Westport Town Council Cllr Myles Staunton said in the aftermath of the stabbing of Garda Mullen: “First and foremost, our thoughts are with the family of Garda Mullen who must be going through a terrible nightmare. I have made contact with the Gardaí to offer any support and assistance that can be given and to express the deep shock of the people of Westport in connection with this incident. This must be an extremely difficult time for Daryl's colleagues also. Thankfully it appears that Garda Mullen's condition has stabilised and our thoughts are with him at this time.”
Fine Gael Leader, Enda Kenny TD, has expressed his deepest sympathy to those affected by the two recent knife crimes committed in Mayo, and also attacked the Government on its inability to curb knife crime in the state. Deputy Kenny went on to say: “May I take this opportunity to express my deepest sympathy to those that have been affected by these two crimes. It is a horrible situation to be faced with. I hope that Garda Mullen will make a full recovery and my sympathies are with the family of Frankie Heneghan. The use of such weapons in Co Mayo is the tragic consequences of the Justice Minister, Dermot Ahern’s, inability to challenge this menace head-on. The new measures regarding knife crime in the Criminal Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions ) Bill 2009 are welcome but likely to be undermined by this Government’s incompetence.”