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Ian Baitson who died yesterday. Garda Press Office
Ian Baitson

Gardaí launch murder investigation as chief suspect identified in fatal Cobh attack

Ian Baitson was attacked in the town at around 9pm on Friday night.


GARDAÍ HAVE LAUNCHED a murder investigation based on the results of a post-mortem examination of Ian Baitson (33) who died yesterday following an alleged knife attack in Cobh, Co Cork last week.

It is understood that gardaí investigating the death of Ian have identified a suspect and carried out a large number of searches at locations they believe he may have been hiding.

Ian Baitson (33), who was working as a chef in Cobh, suffered a serious slash wound to his leg when he was set upon on Friday night in the forecourt of a service station in the Newtown area of the town shortly before 9pm.

A young student, 18-year-old Arian Hanitzsch has told Cork’s 96FM how he was one of the first on the scene in the aftermath.

A German student studying in Cobh, Hanitzsch used his skills learned from the Fire Service in Germany to place a makeshift tourniquet and performing CPR on the victim before the emergency services arrived. 

Ian Baitson was taken to Cork University Hospital for treatment on Friday evening. His death was confirmed yesterday. 

A spokesperson for gardaí this evening said An Garda Síochána have launched a murder investigation after a post-mortem examination was conducted today. The results will not be made public for operational reasons.

A senior investigating officer has been appointed to the enquiry according to the spokesperson.

It is understood that the suspect has gone into hiding and gardaí, led by detectives from across north and east Cork backed up by the Armed Support Unit, have been carrying out raids across the town where they believe he may be hiding. 

The investigation team are the same group of gardaí involved in the investigation into the murder of Tina Satchwell. 

Both the suspect and the man who died are from Cobh and have lived there since they were children. Both men are believed to be well known to each other.

Gardaí believe that Ian Baitson had arranged to meet the man in a carpark at the local shop. There is clear CCTV of the incident and it is believed the gardaí are happy that the suspect acted alone. 

They also believe that the weapon used was a sword or machete-like weapon and caused massive injuries to the victim when he raised his leg instinctively to protect himself.  

Sources have said that the victim was defenceless when he was attacked and “posed no threat whatsoever to the suspect”. 

A post mortem has been carried out today – sources believe the investigation will be declared a murder.  

It is understood that gardaí were continuing to gather CCTV footage around Cobh and patrols were being made across the broader Great Island and East Cork area.  

An Garda Síochána appointed a family liaison officer to assist with the Baitson family at this time. Gardaí investigating the incident have also renewed their appeal for potential witnesses to come forward.

Any road users who may have camera footage (including dash-cam) and on the Newtown Road between 8.45pm and 9.15pm on Friday are asked to make this footage available to gardaí.

Additional reporting by Muiris O’Cearbhaill

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