Man seen with knife after fatal stabbing of Irishman, 87, in London

Police investigating the fatal stabbing of Irishman Thomas O’Halloran, 87, in London have released images of the man they “urgently” want to identify.

r O’Halloran, originally from Ennistymon, Co Clare, was killed in a “shocking act” of “unprovoked violence” around 4pm on Tuesday, the London Metropolitan Police said.

The pensioner, who was raising money for charity, was stabbed while driving his mobility scooter on Cayton Road in Greenford, west London.

Detectives have released images of a man they say they are trying to identify as “matter of urgency”.

He was armed with a knife and wore gray shorts, a dark T-shirt, a white baseball cap and white patterned construction gloves.

Detective Chief Inspector Jim Eastwood, who is leading the investigation, said: “He is clearly a dangerous person and people are being advised not to approach him but to call us on 999 immediately if they know him or have any information about his whereabouts to have.”

In the meantime, warm tributes are paid to Mr O’Halloran.

The Clare community was shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Mr O’Halloran, who is survived by his family including his sister, two brothers, nieces and nephews.

Shane Talty, Fianna Fáil Councilor, said: “He left Ennistymon as a young man but has kept in touch with his family here. Terribly sad way of seeing a long life end.

“Condolences from the entire Ennistymon community to the extended O’Halloran family at this difficult time.”

Kieran McKenna, who is part of an Irish band called The Reels in the UK, met Mr O’Halloran while he was busking in the Perivale area in June.

Mr McKenna was born in London but his mother is originally from Co Limerick and his father is from Co Kerry. He said it was “very sad” to hear of Mr O’Halloran’s tragic death just two months after they met.

“It’s crazy, I’d seen him a couple of times, this time it was outside of Tesco and I happened to be wearing an Irish top so we struck up a conversation. He’s from Ennistymon, Co Clare,’ he said.

“We talked about music and stuff every time I saw him. He’s a very quiet man, he was raising money for Ukraine when I met him.

“I think just because of the fact that I was wearing an Irish top, we struck up a conversation and then I was like, ‘Would you mind if I record you?’ and then he gave me a rendition of Boolavogue.”

In a message shared on The Reels Twitter account today, Mr McKenna said: “I can’t believe I’m writing this. I met this wonderful man Thomas O’Halloran this June while he was playing music outside Tesco’s in Perivale. He was 87 years old. REST IN PEACE.”

Police and paramedics were called to Cayton Road, Greenford, shortly after 4pm yesterday to receive reports of a stabbing and the victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Metropolitan Police Chief Superintendent Sean Wilson spoke to the media at the scene. Photo: PA

Today Supt Wilson said: “I understand that our community will be justifiably shocked and appalled by this incident, as will I be.

“We are now able to identify the man who tragically lost his life as Mr Thomas O’Halloran, who lived in Greenford and was a well known and well-loved member of our community.

“We are appealing to anyone with dashcam or bike helmet footage who may have recorded this incident to get in touch.

“We believe Mr O’Halloran was stabbed to death just before 4pm yesterday Tuesday 16 August on Western Avenue before he managed to drive his mobility scooter approximately 75 meters to Runnymede Gardens where he was a member asked the public for help.”

Supt Wilson said additional police officers will be patrolling the area in the coming days, adding: “I am aware of the terrible impact such incidents are having on our communities. I want to assure you all that we are doing everything we can to solve the horrific crimes we have seen across London over the past few days.

“I stress that London remains one of the safest cities in the world.

“Finally, I would like to say that our thoughts and prayers remain with Thomas O’Halloran and his family.”

Mr O’Halloran was attacked on his way to the busk, according to a friend who asked not to be named.

He told the PA news agency: “He came back from Perivale to play his accordion and earn some money for his family and he was stabbed.”

Mr O’Halloran was said to be known locally for busking outside Greenford Station and was also said to have raised money for war-torn Ukraine.

A man believed to be Mr O’Halloran plays the instrument in poignant YouTube footage uploaded in October 2020 entitled “A Few Songs on the Accordion”.

Mr O’Halloran, whose Facebook page says he’s originally from Ennistymon, wears a cap and glasses in the video and says: “Let’s go, ready? Wish me luck” before starting to play.

A man who works in a newsagent outside the station said: ‘He used to play his accordion here.

“He came every day for a long time, at least two years. He was usually out around five o’clock.”

Another shopkeeper said: “He was often in front of the train station and played the accordion.”

Frasley Coutinho, who lives across the street from where the attack took place, said he saw the victim surrounded by a group of young boys.

He said: “I saw a few people gathering around him and then he drove by and stopped further up and then there was a group of boys around him.”

Meanwhile, detectives have released pictures of a man they say they want to identify as “matter of urgency”.

He was armed with a knife and wore gray shorts, a dark T-shirt, a white baseball cap and white patterned construction gloves.

https://www.independent.ie/news/man-with-knife-seen-running-away-after-fatal-stabbing-of-irishman-87-in-london-41918839.html Man seen with knife after fatal stabbing of Irishman, 87, in London

Fry Electronics Team

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