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Man killed in gang attack after being chased from Halloween bonfire in Neilstown

Published 01/11/2016

Gardai are appealing for witnesses to the incident in the Neilstown area of west Dublin
Gardai are appealing for witnesses to the incident in the Neilstown area of west Dublin

A young father who survived a murder bid a year-and-a-half ago has died in a gang attack after attending a Halloween bonfire.

The victim, named locally as Robert Ellis, was found dead in the back garden of a house in the Neilstown area of west Dublin after trying to run from a group of people.

At least four people were seen leaving the crime scene after the 24-year-old was chased from open ground in the St Mark's area between the Fonthill Road and Neilstown Road, near Liffey Valley.

The incident happened at about 3.10am as groups marked Halloween night.

Gardai said Mr Ellis, who had been living in the area, was at the bonfire on the green at St Mark's at some point and ran from the area across a busy road.

It is understood he tried to bang on the door of a house before fleeing into the back garden where he was later found.

Garda Superintendent Dermot Mann, from Lucan station, appealed for anyone who may have been passing along the Neilstown Road around the time of the incident to come forward.

"We believe the young man in his 20s was followed into the garden of that house by a number of people," he said.

"Possibly four people left the garden over the wall."

It is suspected that Mr Ellis, who had a record for drugs offences among other crimes, was stabbed in the attack.

He survived a shooting in Clondalkin in March last year when he was targeted and shot at least once by gunmen while with his then pregnant girlfriend.

Detectives appealed for anyone who was in the general area of St Mark's, Neilstown Road or Liscarne Gardens between 1am and 3.30am to contact them at Ronanstown Garda Station or any other station or on the Garda phone line.

The State Pathologist's Office was called in to carry out preliminary examinations and a post mortem.

Mr Ellis' body remained at the scene for several hours while Garda tape sealed off areas around the house where he was found.

The attack took place on one of the busiest nights of the year for emergency services.

Dublin Fire Brigade reported that its emergency call centre answered 872 calls from midday on Monday until 6am Tuesday, up more than 100 calls on last year.

More than 400 of those related to incidents in the capital alone.

The vast majority of incidents related to bonfires but there were also car fires, and smoke from a bonfire on the Carpenterstown Road disrupted traffic on the M50 due to poor visibility between the Lucan and Blanchardstown junctions.

In two other incidents a car was driven on to a bonfire near the Neilstown area and a bonfire was lit under electricity pylons off the Fonthill Road.

Meanwhile, a man has been killed in a stabbing in Longford town.

Gardai said the attack happened in the Great Water Street area at about 11.50am.

The dead man, aged in his 30s, was believed to have suffered knife wounds to his chest and was pronounced dead in hospital in Mullingar.

Gardai appealed for anyone who may have been in the area of Great Water Street and Rue Noyal Chatillon or around the shopping centre to come forward.

Press Association

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