Kerry funeral killing: Man arrested over fatal assault in Tralee

Kerry Funeral Killing: Man Arrested Over Fatal Assault In Tralee Kerry Funeral Killing: Man Arrested Over Fatal Assault In Tralee
Thomas Dooley was attacked in Rathass cemetery in Tralee. Photo: Google Street View
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A man in his 30s has been arrested in relation to a fatal assault on a man who was attending a funeral in Co Kerry on Wednesday.

Gardaí said the man was arrested early on Thursday morning in Cork and is being held under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984 at Tralee Garda station.

Thomas Dooley was fatally attacked at the New Rath Cemetery in Rathass in Tralee at about 11.45am. His wife, Siobhan, was also injured in the attack.

Gardaí attended the scene on Wednesday morning after receiving reports of an altercation involving a group of people.

Mr Dooley, aged in his 40s, was pronounced dead at the scene and his body was taken to University Hospital Kerry.

Gardaí said a woman aged in her 40s is receiving treatment in hospital for non-life threatening injuries.


The scene was preserved pending a full technical examination. The coroner was notified and a postmortem was due to take place on Thursday morning.

An incident room has been established at Tralee Garda Station and a senior investigating officer has been appointed to the case.

Investigating gardaí said they are trying to establish a motive for the attack.

A garda source told the Irish Examiner: “The primary focus is to arrest the person behind this attack, which appears to be linked to an ongoing feud, but there are wider concerns then – to stab people at a funeral is a terrible worsening of that feud and there are significant security concerns that this will escalate.

“Gardaí are aware of who is involved in the feud – in terms of the families and the individuals — but it is a question of whether witnesses to the attack will come forward and speak up.”


The Mayor of Tralee, Mikey Sheehy, said there was “shock” at the incident and a “sombre” mood in the town.

“This type of incident is shocking at any time or anywhere, but obviously the fact that this has happened in the town’s graveyard adds another level to that.

“Rath graveyard is the biggest graveyard in Tralee, it’s a place where people go to reflect, it’s where people go to walk, it’s a place where people go to visit a loved one who has passed away.

“So the fact that such a violent act has taken place here is disturbing and extremely shocking to say the least.”

Tralee councillor Cathal Foley said it was “horrendous and barbaric” that someone had lost their life at a funeral.

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“People here have great affection for the graveyard, and there’s great respect for funerals,” he said.

Large crowds from outside the town are understood to have attended the funeral, held for a woman who died suddenly on Monday.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Tralee Garda Station on 066 710 2300, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or to make contact with any Garda station. – Additional reporting: PA

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