Gardaí believe female suspect rang 999 after Dublin killing

Two held over murder of man (63) in Irishtown senior citizens’ complex


A man in his 60s with an intellectual disability was killed in a senior citizens’ complex in Dublin after inviting the people now suspected of his murder into his flat.

Thomas Horan (63), from Mullingar, Co Westmeath, but a long-term resident of Dublin, was found dead in his flat, where he lived alone, in Irishtown, in the south inner city, in the early hours of Monday.

He had suffered trauma to the neck consistent with strangulation during what gardaí believe was a botched robbery.

A 27-year-old man and 37-year-old woman, who are related to each other, were being questioned about the killing last night after their arrests on the north side of the city yesterday afternoon. Both are known to gardaí and are being detained under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act. They can be questioned for up to 24 hours without charge.

Gardaí believe Mr Horan would have known them to see from Irishtown and that they “took advantage of a vulnerable man”.

Fleeing the area
They are working on the theory that the woman panicked when Mr Horan became unresponsive after being attacked and then rang gardaí before fleeing the area.

This morning, gardaí renewed their appeal for witnesses to come forward. In particular, they would like to speak to any taxi driver who may have picked up or dropped a man and a woman near the murder scene between 2am and 5am on Monday morning.

Supt Dave Taylor said yesterday Mr Horan had lived for a number of years at the property where he was killed and was quiet but well known to the other residents in the complex. Mr Horan was separated and gardaí have been liaising with his family, who also live in the south inner city.

‘Inoffensive man’
“Thomas was a quiet man and very well respected by his neighbours; he enjoyed his music and was a popular and inoffensive man,” Supt Taylor said.

“We’re appealing to anyone who may have seen suspicious or unusual activity between 10pm on Sunday and 4am on Monday at Cambridge Court to come forward.”

Gardaí received an emergency call from a woman at about 4am on Monday alerting them that Mr Horan was injured and unresponsive in his flat at Cambridge Court, Irishtown. When gardaí and paramedics arrived they found Mr Horan in the bedroom of his ground floor flat. He was given medical treatment in an attempt to revive him, but was pronounced dead at the scene.

There were no signs of a break-in and gardaí believe Mr Horan invited the suspects into his home.

There were no obvious signs of injury and initially it was unclear if he had been killed or died of natural causes. However, gardaí in Irishtown suspected foul play.

The flat was sealed off and has undergone a forensic examination by members of the Garda Technical Bureau.

Mr Horan’s remains were taken to the mortuary in Marino, where a postmortem was begun by State Pathologist Prof Marie Cassidy.

Gardaí were waiting on the results to determine the course of their investigation. However, Prof Cassidy was forced to postpone the postmortem when she was called to examine the body of Christy Daly when it was found in a ditch near Clara, Co Offaly, on Tuesday.

It was not until yesterday afternoon, more than 48 hours after Mr Horan’s body was found, that Prof Cassidy was in a position to conclude the postmortem, confirming foul play and enabling gardaí to proceed with a murder investigation.