Archbishop Diarmuid Martin condemns Phoenix Park murder

Detectives at Finglas Garda station question a 27-year-old man in relation to the killing

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin: ‘I am horrified by the news of someone being burned alive in the Phoenix Park in these days’

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin: ‘I am horrified by the news of someone being burned alive in the Phoenix Park in these days’

 

The Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has expressed his outrage at the burning alive of a man in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. A suspect was being questioned by detectives last night.

Investigators believe the victim, who was beaten before being set alight, was only homeless for intermittent periods.

A motive for his murder is yet to be established and it is understood results of a postmortem on his remains did not suggest any signs of serious or prolonged drug or alcohol abuse.

He is thought to have been aged in his 40s and an Irish national.

The horrific nature of his death yesterday drew comment from Archbishop Martin during his Mass for the first Sunday of advent at the church of St Andrew on Westland Row.

“In our own city how often do we read about knives being raised in violence and guns in vengeance and lives – young lives – being ruined?” he said.


‘Horrified’
“Like you, I am horrified by the news of someone being burned alive in the Phoenix Park in these days. Christians in our society must find the ways to speak up and stand up as witnesses to the God of peace and loving care.”

Last night detectives at Finglas Garda station were continuing to question a 27-year-old man in relation to the killing. He can be held for a period of 24 hours after which extensions can be applied with the authority of senior gardaí.

The man being questioned is believed to be known to gardaí but only in relation to low-level criminal activity.

A Garda car patrolling the Phoenix Park discovered the victim’s remains on Friday, having spotted a fire near the Wellington Monument.

His identity has been established, but has not been made public.


Public attention
The nature of his assault has attracted considerable public attention. He was believed to have been beaten severely before being set alight; his skull was fractured and a gas canister was recovered near his remains.

Such was the damage inflicted that gardaí could only make a positive identification through the use of dental records or DNA sampling.

Gardaí moved to reassure members of the homeless community that their assistance in the investigation would be dealt with in the strictest confidence.