Violent Start To 2014 As Seven Murdered So Far

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Over the past few days we have been discovering the gruesome details of the murder of Thomas O’Gorman. The 39 year old researcher was killed after an argument involving a game of chess. According to reports one of his lungs was removed and has not been located. Saverio Bellante, the man charged with Mr O’Gorman’s murder, told Gardai at the scene that he had eaten the victim’s heart but it seems likely now that Bellante actually consumed the man’s lung.

This grotesque incident has been heralded as the worst witnessed by Gardaí and crime scene investigators in some time. While this case is particularly shocking and unveils the frightening extremes of suffering one person can inflict on another, it is actually just one of seven violent deaths that have taken place in Ireland since the New Year.

According to the CSO there were 79 cases of homicide in Ireland in 2012, that is just over 6 a month. Only 15 days into January this figure has been surpassed.

On New Year’s Day we awoke to the news of the death of Wayne McQuillan, found stabbed in the front garden of his partner’s Drogheda home. Later that day the news broke of the attack and death of Dale Creighton on a pedestrian bridge in Tallaght. Then on Monday 6th January, 63 year old Thomas Horan, a part-time handy man who suffered from an intellectual disability was found dead at a complex for older people in Ringsend.

Only the next day, Tuesday 7th January, Christy Daly was found in a flooded drain near Clara in Co. Offaly. Daly was a known criminal who was released from prison three weeks previous to his death.

Next on the death notice is Michael O’Dwyer, a 25 year old Kilkenny man who was stabbed at his apartment in Tramore, Co. Waterford on Thursday 9th January. On Saturday 11th, Vincent Maher, a 29 year old man was killed at a party in his rented apartment on Wellmount Road in Finglas.

Then on Sunday came the gruesome attack and killing of Thomas O’Gorman in his own home.

It is the unfortunate truth that we have become accustomed to reading articles on murders and violent deaths in Ireland. Though it may not be right, there is a strange comfort and disconnect when these incidents involve gangland figures or those involved in crime. There is a tendency for the public to look on and not to feel the same empathy for these cases. It is only when ‘normal’ people are killed by ‘normal’ people that the general public becomes truly engaged.

What is most disturbing about the violent deaths that have occurred since the beginning of 2014 is that many of these took place in domestic situations, involving people who would not be associated with violence or with crime of any kind. Real questions must be asked about why these deaths have taken place. Is there a mental health aspect of the argument to be discussed? What can be done to prevent violent crimes in the future?

One thing is for certain, these statistics must not continue. One violent death is a tragedy, seven in twelve days is an atrocity.

  1. This is scary and upsetting. Mental health is clearly one of the reason why people kill, mixed maybe with alcohol consumption, stress etc.

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