A WITNESS who arrived on the scene of the Drimnagh stabbings in 2008 said gardaí were just seconds from preventing the death of the two men.

Chris Donoghue (26) drove around the corner on the way to visiting a family member just seconds after Pawel Kalite and Mariusz Szwajkos were stabbed.

He described the scene of carnage, with a hysterical crowd trying to help the men as gardaí and ambulance sirens were heard in the background.

"From what I could see the guards were 90 seconds away from stopping this from happening. They were very close," said Donoghue.

As Donoghue arrived on the scene, the men's killer David Curran and his friend Sean Keogh were running away.

"I saw [his house mate] Camilla on the ground with Pawel's head cradled on her lap," he recalled.

"She was in hysterics; most of his body was in the garden and she was cradling him in her lap. He was bleeding very heavily, it was obvious he had a stab wound in the head and he wasn't moving."

At first it appeared that Szwajkos, who was lying on the footpath, had had his throat slit. "He was in some sort of consciousness because he was moving. I was convinced, until I heard the evidence in the trial, that he had had his throat slit because of the amount of blood," said Donoghue.

"He was kind of out of it and he was grappling with my shirt and with the lady beside me.

"He was trying to say something but I couldn't make it out. He was groaning.

"What I saw was someone who was extremely scared and in pain."