Irish lecturer stabbed to death outside French university where he taught for 20 years

John Dowling was attacked outside Pôle Universitaire Léonard de Vinci

A 66-year-old Irish lecturer who was teaching at a private French university was stabbed to death in Paris yesterday.

John Dowling was attacked around mid-day outside the city's Pôle Universitaire Léonard de Vinci in the business district of La Défense.

It is understood his attacker may have been a former student who was expelled in August 2017.

Mr Dowling had worked as an English language lecturer at the college for almost 20 years.

In a statement, the school said Mr Dowling was a much-loved teacher who showed great compassion and made himself available on a daily basis to his students.

"John was a very friendly man, respected and loved by all students and colleagues. He was also known for his great availability and kindness.

"The community of the Pole Leonard de Vinci is deeply shocked and saddened by this tragedy of extreme violence. We express our most sincere condolences to the family and friends of John Dowling."

Counselling support is being offered to all of those affected by his killing.

French Higher Education Minister Frédérique Vidal posted on Twitter that there was indignation at the killing.

A former student, identified as a 37-year-old Pakistani national who was expelled from the institute last year, is in police custody.

The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs said it is aware of the case and is providing consular assistance.

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