BISHOP of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, Dr Paul Colton, has led the tributes to the West Cork student who died following a stabbing incident in Cork city last night.
Cameron Blair, a prominent rugby player and a former student of Bandon Grammar School, was pronounced dead following an incident at a house party on Bandon Road in the city. He was originally from Ballinascarthy but was a second year student in CIT.
Bishop Colton has just issued the following statement:
‘As news was breaking on Thursday night 16th January of a stabbing incident on Bandon Road, a short distance from my own home in Cork, I tweeted my message of horror and sent my heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the young man, his family and friends. I now know, this morning, that he was Cameron Blair, a young person from this Church of Ireland Diocese, who attended Bandon Grammar School, and who was confirmed by me in 2013 in Saint Peter’s Church, Bandon.
‘He was well known in his local community, including as a rugby player and athlete. My wife Susan and I share the shock of everyone who lives in this neighbourhood, particularly the student community who are so much at the heart of this area,’ Bishop Colton added.
Having had student children myself, I know well that a calamity such as this on a night out is every parent’s worst nightmare.
‘My heart goes out to the Blair family, especially Cameron’s parents Noel and Cathy, and his brother Alan; as well as to Cameron’s wide circle of friends and peers, and indeed everyone who has been traumatised by what happened on the Bandon Road last night.
‘I know everyone in Cork and further afield is terribly shocked by Cameron’s death. On behalf of everyone living in this part of Cork, and on behalf of us all in the Church of Ireland community in Cork, Cloyne and Ross I send them our sincerest condolences.’
At approximately 9.20pm last night, gardaí received a report of an assault in which a 20-year-old man had received serious injuries. The man was brought to Cork University Hospital but was later pronounced dead.
The scene is currently preserved for a technical examination by the local Scenes of Crime unit. The local coroner and the office of the State pathologist has been informed. A post mortem is scheduled to take place today.
An incident room has been set up at Togher gardaí station and a senior investigating officer has been appointed. CCTV is being gathered and door to door enquiries are commencing this morning.
Gardaí are appealing for anyone who has any information to contact us. Anyone who was in the Bandon Road area between 8pm and 10pm who witnessed anything or anyone with dash cam or mobile phone footage is asked to contact Togher Garda Station on 021-494 7120, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800-666-111 or any Garda Station.
The gardai have urged that anyone who has any details or video footage is asked to contact them, and not to share it on social media.
Cameron was a talented young sportsman and was involved in both rugby and athletics locally.
He played at all levels with Bandon Rugby Club, including Junior 1 and Junior 2. He was on the Bandon team that won the Munster Junior League Division 1 title in 2018 and he was still active with the Junior 2 team this season.
Also, this morning Bandon Athletic Club extended their sympathies to his family.
A statement said: 'Cameron was a member of the club for a number of years competing at local and national level winning medals at West Cork, County, Munster and National. In 2017 he helped the men's team to a second place finish at the National League. promoting them to Premier. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.’