THE heartbroken family of a Polish man murdered in a screwdriver attack in Drimnagh two years ago say they will never recover from the trauma of his killing, but have thanked the Irish people for their support.
Pawel Kalite (30) and Mariusz Szwajkos (29) were both stabbed through the temple with a screwdriver by David Curran (19) on 23 February 2008, on Benbulben Road, Drimnagh, in an act described by Justice Liam McKechnie as "profoundly sinister".
On Friday, Curran was handed down two concurrent mandatory life sentences for the double murder. Seán Keogh (21), Vincent Street West, Inchicore, who was acquitted of the murders, has pleaded guilty to assaulting Kalite.
Szwajkos' sister Gosia Szwajkos (31) told the Sunday Tribune that her brother moved to Ireland to be closer to her.
"He decided to move to Ireland mostly because I was in Ireland and we wanted to be together. Before Ireland he was in Spain, but we decided that it will be easier for us emotionally, because at least one member of our family would be close, to be together."
The brother and sister lived together in Ennis, Co Clare, before Mariusz moved to Dublin. "He was not only my brother but also a friend. I still have all the sweaters that he gave me. It happened several times, he was in the shop to buy something for himself but ended with the sweater for me and saying, 'I saw it and I thought that it will be perfect for you'.
"He was always thinking about others – not himself. That is the first thing that comes to my mind as I think about him – he always was there for others," she added.
Szwajkos had a masters degree in mechanical engineering and planned to open his own garage when he returned to Poland. His pride and joy was a 30-year old Volkswagen Beetle he spent several months restoring.
Gosia said when she first heard her brother was in hospital, the family did not know how serious it was.
"It was a sleepless night as we were calling the hospital many times to check how Mariusz was doing. We were in shock, we were terrified, we were crying and praying all night and the hardest thing was to go to my parents' home next day and let them know what happened. I know that the news will leave them heartbroken for the rest of their lives."
She doubts her family can ever recover from the tragedy.
"For Mariusz, and for all of us who loved him so much, it was too soon, too tragic. It is too painful to lose him in such terrible circumstances when he was full of life, dreams, happiness and plans.
"We cannot understand and we can not accept his death and time didn't change our feelings. The pain is still exactly the same.
"Today, after over two years since his death, we know that nothing can change our pain, sadness and longing after him.
"We know that no matter what we do there always will be one person missing, a person that we would like to share our feelings and experiences with."