Two in court over death of Irish tourist

17 September 2009
Tom Worden

TWO men appeared in court yesterday over the death of Irish businessman Paul Houston in Portugal. Police arrested the men, aged 19 and 26, on suspicion of homicide and robbery on Wednesday. Mr Houston (51) was attacked as he made his way home from a bar in the seaside town of Alvor on the Algarve. The father-of-four, who was on holiday with his wife and two friends, was found in a pool of blood with severe head wounds in the early hours of Sunday, September 6. The Judicial Police launched a manhunt which ended with the arrest of the two men, who are thought to be Brazilian.


Detectives said they were preparing to flee Portugal, and were in possession of travel tickets out of the area. The men appeared before a judge at a court in the nearby town of Portimao yesterday. They gave statements to the judge in a hearing behind closed doors. The judge will decide whether to remand them in custody or release them on bail ahead of a trial.

Mr Houston was on an annual golfing holiday in the Algarve with wife Celine and friends Philip and Marian Devlin when the tragedy happened. The two couples had enjoyed dinner together in a local restaurant on the Saturday night. But Mr Houston, who was president of Greencastle Golf Club in Co Donegal, was alone when he was attacked by the waterside as he made his way back from a bar.

Police believe he was the victim of a robbery, and was killed when he refused to hand over his valuables. A post-mortem examination revealed he had died from blows to the head. On Monday, thousands of mourners packed St Mary's church in Ballybrack, Co Donegal, for his funeral mass.

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