A Galway City community has been left reeling in shock this week, after a man lost his life in a stabbing incident.
Christopher McGrath died after being stabbed at a house on Cardinal Cushing Road in Mervue in the early hours of Sunday morning.
He received medical assistance at the scene before being taken to University Hospital Galway (UHG) where he was later pronounced dead.
Tributes have been paid to the seasoned athlete, who was well-known on the athletic circuit. Galway Athletics County Board described Mr McGrath as “a hugely keen, enthusiastic, and competitive runner who always gave his best”.
“All at Galway Athletics and Galway City Harriers were deeply saddened to hear of the tragic death last weekend of Chris McGrath, a recent member of city club Galway City Harriers (GCH). Chris competed with the club throughout his Juvenile career in the 1990s, and was a very talented and committed athlete who won numerous titles at underage level. In latter years, he competed at senior level in cross country and road races at regional and national level for GCH and Galway County, and a terrific win at the Connacht Intermediate Cross Country in St Mary’s in 2012, and a top 50 National Senior Cross Country finish in Tullamore in 2013 were among the highlights of his career,” a statement read.
Galway Athletics County Board expressed their condolences to Mr McGrath’s family, friends and “the many GCH members and athletes around Galway who grew up, coached, trained and raced with Chris over the years”.
Local Fine Gael Cllr John Walsh, who is from Mervue, said the feeling in the area is one of shock.
He described Mervue as a “close-knit community”.
“I grew up in the area and a lot of the residents now would be retired age now, so they would be getting on in age, their families have grown up and moved on to new pastures, so there are a lot of retired people in it - a nice quiet, very quiet area - totally shocked.
“Everyone looks out for everyone. So it’s one of shock really and sadness.”
His thoughts were echoed by Independent city councillor Mike Cubbard who described the tragedy as “very sad”. “For the Mervue community it is a shock because of the area itself and on that particular street there would be a lot of elderly people and it’s a quiet community so it has come as a shock to them,” he commented.
“I suppose people are coming to terms with it. You see it in the national media and so on but you don’t ever think it will come to your own doorstep.”
Gardaí are continuing to investigate the fatal incident, and are appealing to anyone who can assist them to contact the incident room at Galway Garda Station. They are particularly appealing to anyone who may have witnessed any altercation involving males on the Old Dublin Road/Cardinal Cushing Road in the Mervue area between 12 midnight and 4am on Sunday to contact them.
A man in his 60s, who was arrested at the scene and subsequently detained at Galway Garda Station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, was released without charge on Monday. A file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Mill Street on 091-538000 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800-666111.
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