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One a day Live

Tributes for 'quiet giant' Martin Clancy as Gardai announce inquiry in Limerick is now a murder probe

Update 8.30pm: Gardai launched a murder probe Monday night after the body of a man was found in his home in Limerick, writes David Raleigh

Martin Clancy, (45), originally from Moyross, but living at Little O'Curry Street in the city, was discovered dead at his flat, shortly before 6pm, last Sunday evening.

He had been stabbed to death, sources confirmed, following a post-mortem by the State Pathologist, Professor Marie Cassidy.

Superintendent Derek Smart, Henry Street Garda Station, who are leading the murder probe into Mr Clancy's death, said he was not commenting on "speculation" as to how Mr Clancy died.

Appealing for information about the murder, he added: "I'm appealing for anyone who may have seen Martin in the city centre area, or up near his home in Little O'Curry Street -- since the first of January -- that they may come forward and let us know when they saw him; did they speak to him; was anybody with him; had he his dog with him...Anything that may jog your memory in regard to him."

"It's been in the media all day that people knew that he was a friendly guy, and he used to walk his dog all around the place, so it's those people we are asking to come forward and let us know."

"We are trying to pinpoint when Martin was last seen in around the area," he said.

Gardai believe Mr Clancy may have been dead for up to a week before his body was discovered last Sunday evening.

"We are waiting for other results to come back from the post-mortem, which may be able to bring our (estimated time of death) down a little bit lower than that, but at this stage we are following every avenue of investigation, so that's why (the appeal) is from January 1st," he added.

Mr Clancy was a tall, bald, man who regularly walked his dog around the O'Curry Street, Windmill Street, and Henry Street areas of the Treaty City. He had a number of previous convictions, including for possessing drugs and possessing of an offensive weapon.

Superintendent Smart said every available garda unit in division was working to find the killer: "We have the Detective Unit here at Henry Street which is well manned; we have our Detective Branch her at Henry Street; our Drugs Squads; all available resources that we have are covering house to house enquiries, CCTV enquiries, and interviewing and taking statements from people that have come forward already."

He added: "It's fair to say Martin didn't die by his own hand. Obviously, I can't go into the details of how he died, because it is something that is very much very important for any strategy of an investigation going forward. Obviously, the person that committed this crime -- they know, and we know how it happened."

Martin Clancy's murder is the third in Limerick in as many weeks. All three victims were found dead in their own homes.

Rosie Hanrahan, (78), was found dead in her home in Thomondgate on December 15th last. It's believed she was killed after disturbing an intruder.

Willie Lynch, (35), originally from Ballybrown, but living in Pallaskenry, was found stabbed to death in his home on December 30.

Mr Lynch's brother Gerry, (29), of Main Street, Pallaskenry, has been charged with his murder.

Earlier: Tributes flowed in for “quiet giant” Martin Clancy, who was found dead in his flat in Limerick in suspicious circumstances, Sunday evening, writes David Raleigh.

Neighbours and friends left flowers and personal messages outside Mr Clancy’s flat, at Little O’Curry Street, Monday.

While RTE reported Mr Clancy had appeared before the courts for different offences, his friends and neighbour’s described him as a “very quiet man”.

Local man Donal O’Keeffe said: “All he did was walk his dogs. He was very quiet. He came from a very good family. They’ll be devastated at this."

"He was known as the quiet giant, that was Martin," he added.

Mary Dillon, a resident of McGarry House sheltered accommodation, located nearby, also paid tribute to Mr Clancy: "We got to know each other, and I used to bring him food and look after him. He was quiet, a lovely person, sound out.”

“He took in homeless people off the street, and he was a good person. I don’t care what anybody else says.”

Ms Dillon broke down in tears as she spoke to reporters outside Mr Clancy’s flat: “It hurts because I have lost so many friends last year, and now, this year, this is not a good start to the year. He kept to himself, and he loved his dogs. He was just a happy person.”

Gardai are investigating a number of lines of enquiry as to how Mr Clancy died.

“We’re hearing all sorts of stories, but I won’t really believe it until the truth comes out,” Ms Dillon said.

She said she last saw and spoke to Mr Clancy just before Christmas and had offered to provide him with Christmas dinner.

“We were chatting away and I asked him was he ok for his Christmas dinner, and he said he was going to his family, so he went to his family for Christmas. He was sound, believe me, he was,” she added.