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A 44 year old man has been arrested by Metropolitan Police following the brutal murder of Ennistymon native Thomas O’Halloran.

Metropolitan Police said the 87 year old was killed in a “shocking act” of “unprovoked violence”. Detective Chief Inspector, Jim Eastwood who has led the investigation confirmed that a man was arrested at an address in Southall, west London, in the early hours of Thursday morning.

He stated, “I would like to thank the public for their overwhelming support following this horrific incident. As a result of the release of a CCTV image yesterday, an arrest has been made and this investigation is progressing at pace. Mr O’Halloran’s family have been updated with this development and continue to be supported by specially trained officers”.

Thomas left Ennistymon 71 years ago and returned annually to North Clare up until a decade ago. He was on his way to busk with his accordion outside Greenford Station before he was attacked on his mobility scooter. He had been raising money to support efforts for war-torn Ukraine.

His siblings George, Richard and Bridget along with many nieces and nephews still reside in Co Clare while his children and grand-children are in the UK. George’s grandson, John Brennan tragically died after being crushed by a tractor in April 2020 at the age of 13.

Senator Martin Conway (FG) spoke with members of the O’Halloran family on Thursday morning and acknowledged how difficult a period this is for them. “The news of the brutal murder of Thomas O’Halloran has shocked the people of Ennistymon and North Clare. It is almost unbelievable, that a man of his age using an electronic mobility device, was targeted and murdered in broad daylight. It is truly shocking. I sincerely hope the perpetrators are brought to justice as soon as possible”.

Former Labour MP for Ealing North Steve Pound described Thomas as “the uncrowned king of Greenford, and his mobility scooter was like his throne”. Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, he stated, “He was so much an integral part of our community. He was almost like the hub around which all of Greenford revolved and circulated, because he was always there holding court outside the café opposite Tesco in Greenford, or playing his accordion and not playing, probably, the finest version of Danny Boy I’ve ever heard in my life, but an instantly recognisable version of it.”

“He was always looking to raise money,” Mr Pound said, “In fact, God rest his soul, when he was brutally killed he was actually raising money for Ukraine. We have a campaign here, in Ealing, for refugees arriving from Ukraine, but the great thing about him (was) he was an absolute character. In some ways, he almost played up to that sort of cheerful Irish stereotype”.

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