The killing of Dylan McCarthy in an attack in Co Kildare may not result in a murder charge because of the nature of the assault, Garda sources have said.
Speaking to The Irish Times, the sources believe it may be very difficult to prove exactly how Mr McCarthy sustained his fatal injuries and who struck the blows, meaning several people may face lesser charges rather than one suspect being charged with murder.
Gardaí are trying to identify people who were in the pub on Dublin Street in Monasterevin when a row erupted and spilled outside.
Up to 30 people are thought to have been in The Bellyard Bar in the early hours of Sunday, according to the Irish Examiner.
Gardaí believe Mr McCarthy and his father were attacked by a group of people during the incident.
The 29-year-old victim, originally from Kilmallock in Co Limerick, was injured on the street and fell into an unresponsive state.
It is with the heaviest of hearts that we at Kilmallock Gaa pass on our heartfelt sympathies to the family and friends of Dylan McCarthy.
Dylan played underage hurling and football at underage level and also played u21 and Junior hurling . He was a huge addition to any team and a pic.twitter.com/dpynra1Uq4
— Kilmallock GAA (@KilmallockGAA) August 22, 2022
Mr McCarthy was treated by paramedics on the scene and then taken to Tallaght University Hospital in Dublin where he was pronounced dead at the hospital on Monday.
The dead man’s father also suffered head injuries and he remained in Tallaght hospital on Tuesday evening.
Detectives are focused on identifying males present on the night and those involved in the attack and are circulating CCTV images in a bid to do so.
A friend of Dylan McCarthy was also struck but did not have to be hospitalised. While a murder investigation has not yet been launched, gardaí say all the necessary resources, similar to that of a homicide investigation, are being allocated.
The family and friends of the young man are overcome with “sadness, disbelief and anger”, a priest in Mr McCarthy's hometown has said.
Fr Chris O’Donnell, a family friend, said there is a blanket of sadness over Kilmallock.
“There are no words. It’s sadly unimaginable really and there’s been a few tragedies, even in Limerick just in the last few days as well,” Fr O’Donnell told RTÉ's Morning Ireland.
“As a community, our thoughts are with Dylan’s family, his parents and sister, they’re just such a good quiet, unassuming family who are held in great esteem here.
“We’re devastated for them. I wish they, and other innocent families could be spared these tragic events. It’s like there’s a cloud or a blanket of sadness resting on the town of Kilmallock and also the neighbouring parishes.
“People are devastated. Just a lot of sorrow and sadness, disbelief and anger really.”
He said that Dylan had recently moved to Cork and was very involved in his local GAA team.
“Between neighbours and friends and work colleagues, former teachers, the GAA community, the ripples are everywhere because he was very popular, they’re a lovely family,” Fr O’Donnell added.
“I suppose it’s every parent’s nightmare and nearly every parent in the area now are thinking of their own children and hopefully holding them a little closer because in many ways it seems like Dylan is everyone’s son and brother at the moment.
“Just a lovely family and awful shock for everyone.
“We’re not the only community reeling and these tragedies leaves everyone questioning.
“Goodness always wins out too. There’s a lot of care and love going their way.
“I know the focus here in Kilmallock is: ‘How will we respond?’ And I know the community, such a great community, will envelop Dylan’s family in as much love and light and support as possible, because I suppose such great tragedies need to be met with even greater love.
“At times of tragedy we see the innate goodness of people, they tend to prompt an outpouring of love and care.
“Our purpose here now is to try and reach out and be there for the family and give them reasons to hope because they deserve that.”
In a social media post, Kilmallock gaelic club said: “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we at Kilmallock GAA pass on our heartfelt sympathies to the family and friends of Dylan McCarthy.
“Dylan played underage hurling and football at underage level and also played u21 and junior hurling.
“He was a huge addition to any team and a real team player always.
“To [his parents] Eamon, Marita and [sister] Orla, Dylan’s partner Aoife, extended family and friends we are sorry for your great loss. We will remember Dylan always.”