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06.44 4 Jan 2018


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Updated 18.05

Gardaí have named the man killed in a knife attack in Co Louth as 24-year-old Yosuke Sasaki.

The Japanese national was stabbed to death on Avenue Road in Dundalk at around 9.00am on Wednesday morning.

An 18-year-old man is due before a special sitting of Dundalk District Court this evening in connection with the stabbing.

Gardaí say they are liaising closely with security and law enforcement partners worldwide to share and assess any relevant intelligence.

In a statement, An Garda Síochána say:"At this time, we can find no established link to indicate that this tragedy is terrorist related.

"However, enquires are continuing internationally as the investigation develops."

It adds that the threat level from international terrorism remains unchanged at moderate, where an attack is possible but not likely.

An 18-year-old Egyptian man was arrested yesterday, and detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act at Dundalk garda station.

The level of threat is under constant review by An Garda Síochána in consultation with the Defence Forces.

Two other men were also attacked and received non-life threatening injuries.

Mr Sasaki had been living in Ireland for the last year, and had been working for the National Pen company since August last year.

In a statement, the company's chief executive officer Peter Kelly said: “This is a time of profound sadness for management and staff.

"National Pen prides itself on taking the utmost care of its work colleagues. We will do everything possible to assist the family at this tragic time."

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan says in a statement: "My thoughts and those of my Government colleagues are with the victims of this horrific incident and we extend our deepest sympathies to the family and loved ones of the man killed and wish a speedy recovery to those wounded.

"I am monitoring this situation closely.

"These terrible crimes are being actively investigated by An Garda Siochana.

"That investigation must be allowed to take its course. I am asking anyone with information to contact the gardaí immediately."

Irish Independent journalist Conor Feehan says questions are being asked about how long this Egyptian man was in the country, and how he got here.

He told Pat Kenny: "The gardaí seem to be fairly confident of the man's identity...the question now is how did he get into the country, when did he get into the country and what is his status.

"We do know from a press conference yesterday that gardaí did interact with him on the 1st of January."

It is believed the man was stopped by gardaí and did not have any identification on him.

As a result, he either presented himself to an asylum seeker centre in Dublin - or he was assisted by gardaí in making that contact.

The man then returned to Dundalk on Tuesday.

"Gardaí believe that he was sleeping in a derelict property in the town not far from where the first attack took place."

Gardaí are appealing for any persons that were in the Avenue Road area shortly before 9.00am on Wednesday morning - or on Coes Road or Seatown Place areas or the Inner Relief Road of Dundalk between 8.30am and 9.40am - to contact them at Dundalk garda station on (042)-938-8471 or the Garda Confidential Line at 1800-666-111.

Reporting from Jack Quann and Stephanie Grogan


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