Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Police hunt for gang that killed Irish 'hero' with sword

Police on a Caribbean island are trying to establish the details leading to the slaying of an Irishman who was hit on the head with a large sword when he went to help his friends.

The prime minister of Dominica has vowed that those responsible for the attack on Joe Costello (43), originally from Co Dublin, would be punished.

Roosevelt Skerrit said police had detained people for questioning. A team of officers was investigating the attack, he said.

The savage attack happened when Mr Costello was cut down in an apparent attempted robbery on Sunday night.

He was attacked as he attempted to save friends Rick and Alicia Davison from their assailants while he visited a guest house owned by them.

The American couple run Pauga Bay House in the Marigot area of the island. They were attacked by three men who police say were targeting them due to their wealth.

Mr Costello may have been in bed at the time and jumped up to help his friends. But he was hit on the head with a large curved sword and died a short time later. The couple received lesser injuries.

A three-man gang was believed to have been behind the attack. It is understood they escaped with a number of possessions.

Most of Mr Costello's immediate family live in the UK. The police are said to be confident of finding the killers.

A spokesman for Silks Hotel, where Mr Costello worked as a manager for the last nine months, said that they were putting together a reward to help catch his killers.

He paid tribute to Mr Costello, who he describes as a "hero", and said that he got involved in an incident that most people would not go near.

The Pauga Bay House has been closed since the attack and will remain closed while its owners recover in hospital.

There has been an outpouring of sympathy for Mr Costello on the usually quiet island.

Parliamentary representative for Marigot, Edison James, said he condemned the attack "in the strongest terms".

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