Irishtown residents remember ‘friendly and gentle’ neighbour
As investigations continue into the murder of Thomas Horan, neighbours come to terms with his shocking death
The scene at Cambridge Court, Irishtown, where 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 the early hours of Monday. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins
“Tommy was a little treasure,” remembered Laurel Hunter, the former warden for the Irishtown sheltered housing complex with more than 40 residents. “He will be greatly missed around here. He was a lovely little man.”
Ms Hunter said the residents were shocked with the news of the sudden death of their friendly neighbour.
The night of the murder, Horan’s next door neighbour said he heard loud voices and shouts from the flat.
“ I went back to sleep because I thought he’d pull one of the emergency cords if he was in trouble. Someone answers that immediately,” he said.
“I woke about 5am to hear the fire brigade, ambulance and police outside. Tommy was a good neighbour, never bothered me at all.”
Willie Murphy, who has lived in the block for eight years, said it was “an awful end for poor Tommy”.
Mr Murphy and Horan often worked together tending the garden and watering flowers that hang in baskets outside the small apartments.
“He was always the first out on January 6th to take the decorations down. Tommy used to say anytime you want me just give me a shout,” Mr Murphy said.
“He’d no pets but was always giving treats to the dogs here, a kind natured man.”
“Tommy was a great little character...a tiny but terrific little man.”
Mr Murphy said Horan was always very security conscious.
“He was no fool by any stretch of the imagination, I can’t understand how this has happened to him,”added Mr Murphy. “He was a wise man.”
All the residents agreed that security in the block of houses has become a real issue. “We’ve asked for CCTV on numerous occasions,” said Mr Murphy.
Horan was known for his love of music, especially the king of rock and roll.
Like Horan, Dave O’ Connor, who lives across the garden, is a big Elvis fan.
Mr O’Connor, who walks to mass every evening at 7, said he would no longer open his door in the dark now.
“ It was a terrible thing to have happened to him.”
Upstairs neighbour Brendan Riesebeck remembered when he spoke to Horan about his vinyl collection.
“Tommy was nice, easy going, gentle person,” said Mr Riesebeck.
“It’s not something you expect to happen in the place that you are living.”
“I love living here, the people are great but I’d be more security conscious now.”