Gardaí investigating a fatal assault that occurred in Tralee, Co Kerry, yesterday, Wednesday, October 5, have today made two arrests.

A man aged in his early 40s was arrested in Cork City this afternoon, Thursday, October 6, and taken to Tralee Garda Station where he has been detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984.

Another man, in his 30s, was arrested in early this morning, October 6, and remains in Garda custody.

On Wednesday, Gardaí said they were appealing for witnesses following the fatal assault of a man in Tralee, Co Kerry, that occurred that morning.

Gardaí and Emergency Services attended the grounds of Rathass Cemetery in Tralee following reports of an altercation involving a group of people.

Gardaí said a man in his 40s was discovered with serious injuries. He was pronounced dead at the scene by ambulance personnel and his body was taken to University Hospital Kerry.  

A woman aged in her 40s was also taken to University Hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injuries, Gardaí said.

The scene was preserved pending a full technical examination.

Investigating Gardaí continue to appeal for witnesses to come forward and for any person with camera footage to make it available to them.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the incident room at Tralee Garda Station on 066 710 2300, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.

The investigation is ongoing and further updates will follow, Gardaí said.

The victim of the fatal stabbing has been named as Thomas Dooley, 43. His wife Siobhan is understood to be the woman who was injured during the incident. 

On social media, Dooley is being remembered as "harmless" and a "gentleman."

The couple was attending the funeral of Bridget O’Brien, a mother of five from St. Michael’s Road in Killarney, Co Kerry.

Dooley was attacked by five or six men who were armed with slash hooks and machetes, the Irish Times reports.

“We are satisfied that the group who attacked the victim were not attending the funeral of Ms. O’Brien so it would very much appear as though they travelled to the graveyard with the sole intention of carrying out this vicious and targeted attack on the victim,” a Garda source told the Irish Times.

Separately, 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.

“Gardai 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.” 

Martin Collins, a Traveller advocate with Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre, told the Irish Examiner that the attack was "shocking" and "senseless."

He added: “I would urge leaders and those with influence in the affected families to use that influence in a positive way to diffuse and de-escalate the situation to prevent any further injury or loss of life,” he said.

“Whatever disputes or disagreements may be there, there are processes to resolve those, for example through the courts or through mediation.”