Republic of Ireland news

President Higgins pays tribute to ‘generosity and kindness' of Thomas O'Halloran

A picture of Thomas O'Halloran left amongst floral tributes outside Perivale Tesco, Greenford, where the 87-year-old, who was fatally stabbed in Greenford, west London on Tuesday, used to play his accordion. Picture by Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Cate McCurry, PA

President Michael D Higgins has paid tribute to the “generosity and kindness” of Thomas O’Halloran, an 87-year-old Irishman who died after being stabbed in London.

President Higgins expressed his sympathy for Mr O’Halloran’s family and friends and to the Irish community in London where he lived.

A man charged with murder has been remanded in custody.

Lee Byer (44) appeared at Willesden Magistrates’ Court on Friday over the alleged killing of Mr O’Halloran, in Greenford, west London, on Tuesday.

Mr O’Halloran, who was originally from Ennistymon in Co Clare, died after he was stabbed in the chest while on his mobility scooter.

In a statement, Mr Higgins said: “On behalf of the people of Ireland, may I express my profound sympathy to all the members of the family of Thomas O’Halloran who died under such tragic circumstances this week, to the Irish community in London of whom he was a part, and to all in London and Ireland who knew him.

“I can only imagine the deep shock that his family and his friends are experiencing and may I convey my heartfelt condolences to them all.

“The grief that they will be feeling, I can share.”

He said Mr O’Halloran was “so altruistically minded and indeed cherished in his local community in Greenford”.

Mr Higgins added: “May I pay tribute to that generosity and kindness that Thomas showed in his life, as well as to Thomas’s musical talent which he shared so freely, most recently in support of those impacted by the situation in Ukraine.

“I hope that Thomas’ family and friends can draw strength from the legacy of kindness he leaves to the wider Irish community in Britain, of which he was a member for so long.

“Sabina joins me in renewing our deepest condolences to all of those who loved and cared for Thomas. May he rest in peace.”

Mr O’Halloran is survived by his family, including his sister, two brothers, nieces and nephews.

Republic of Ireland news