Two brothers have been detained in custody in Turkey; accused of the murder of Irish theatre Director Mr John Donnelly.
Well known to members of Thurles Musical Society and indeed older members of Vincé Productions and Phoenix Productions, based in Thurles; the lifeless body of Mr Donnelly, aged 64, was found dead in an apartment he was renting on June 3rd 2016, after police were alerted to a bloodied knife, found outside the building.
Two brothers, named as Mehmet Irmak aged 28 and Sinan Irmak aged 20, have both been charged in connection with the fatal stabbing. A date for their court appearance has yet to be announced.
Mr Donnelly had travelled to Turkey on holidays shortly after his production of the hit Wexford Light Opera’s musical ‘Evita’. Turkish police confirmed that Mr Donnelly’s apartment had been ransacked and robbery was believed to have been the possible motive for his death. The victim’s body was reportedly found lying naked on the floor of his apartment on the morning following the vicious attack; his death attributed to a single stab wound.
It is believed that both men arrested were identified following the release of CCTV images which showed two men leaving his apartment building on the night Mr Donnelly died.
One of Mr Donnelly’s most recent connections with Thurles was his Direction of ‘Spring Awakening‘, which contained cast members from Thurles and which walked off stage taking multiple awards; including; ‘Best Lighting’, ‘Best Costumes’, ‘Best Set’, ‘Special Adjudicators Award’, ‘Best Musical Direction’ and the much coveted ‘Best Overall Show Award’, for the 50th anniversary of the Waterford’s International Festival of Light Opera.