SHOCKING: Tributes paid to teacher who was stabbed to death '13 times'

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Tributes are being paid to Dublin man John Dowling who was stabbed to death in Paris.The 66-year-old was attacked on the university campus in the west of the city where he had worked as an English teacher for nearly 20 years.

The fatal attack happened around lunchtime yesterday on the campus of LĂ©onard de Vinci University in the La Defense district. A former student of John Dowling has said that she is in shock following his death.

A Paris-based journalist Peter Allen said that Mr Dowling had gone out for his lunch and was seen speaking with a former student for a minute or so before the man reportedly stabbed Mr Dowling "13 times," according to report.

It is not yet known whether the man was previously a student of Mr Dowling's. Mr Allen said that the area was quite busy at the time of the attack.

A man in his late 30s was arrested at the scene and remains in custody. Police are trying to establish a motive for the attack.

Editor of news site 'The Local France' Ben McPartland says John was popular among students.

"There's the immediate reaction among students and colleagues all who were in shock, we spoke to a couple of students yesterday...John was such a popular teacher.

Ann Bertrand, a former student of John Dowling's, who spoke to newsmen in the early hours of today says, Mr. Dowling was her English teacher in 2010/11. "He was loved by everyone," said Ms Bertrand.
He was someone who was simply pleasant to be around. He had an enormous sense of humour. He was well-known, well liked, motivated, passionate - these are all words that were used by students.

In a statement, the University said the attacker was a former student who had failed to complete his course.

The French Higher Education Minister has expressed her condolences to Mr Dowling's family.

The college says everyone is shocked by the violent death of a teacher who was respected and loved by all. Mr Dowling had been teaching English in the college since 1999 and was thought to be nearing retirement.

Counsellors will be on campus today to help staff and students who are still coming to terms with the tragedy. All our thoughts go to the family and friends of the victim of this horrendous attack, Irishman John Dowling.



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