Arrest made after man kicked to death and left partially clothed
Father of three (54) died in group attack in Swords, Dublin, at about 3am on Sunday
A Garda Technical Bureau member examining the scene in Swords on Sunday. Gardaí believe taxi drivers with dashcams can aid their murder inquiry. Photograph Nick Bradshaw
Gardaí believe a man found dead in north Dublin in the early hours of Sunday was beaten and left to die partially clothed on the street.
Large sections of the town of Swords remained sealed off throughout the day as a murder inquiry began. The victim has been identified as Dermot Byrne (54), a local man who was married with three children. He was not a criminal and was not known to gardaí.
A 29-year-old man was arrested Sunday night in south Dublin connection with the murder.
The main line of investigation is that he was set upon, probably in a chance encounter, and beaten so badly that he died. His remains showed signs of severe and repeated kicking, including to his head.
In an unusual feature of the case, the deceased was stripped of some of his clothes. It was unclear if this was done in an effort to humiliate him; perhaps by attackers who did not expect him to die.
However, investigators are not ruling out the possibility that his clothes were taken because his attackers believed their DNA or blood would be on them.
The deceased had gone socialising in the Swords area on Saturday night, early into Sunday morning. Other people in the area raised the alarm at about 3am when they came across the deceased on North Street near Fingal Community College.
The scene is about 100m from the north end of the town’s Main Street, where a large number of night spots are located.
Gardaí arrived just after 3am and paramedics were also called in an attempt to save the victim’s life. His injuries were too severe and he was pronounced dead at the scene. It was unclear what time the attack took place.
The area was sealed off and the body was left in place overnight, with gardaí deployed to prevent members of the public entering the crime scene.
The remains were examined at the scene by a pathologist before being taken from the area for a postmortem.The scene was forensically examined by members of the Garda Technical Bureau.
A search for the dead man’s clothing, and other items the attackers may have discarded, was also carried out.
Due to the busy nature of Swords at weekends, gardaí are hopefully witnesses with significant information will be in a position to assist the inquiry. The investigation team, based at Swords Garda station, has urged anyone with information to come forward.
Garda sources said there would have been many taxis working in the area at the time. They are appealing to any drivers with dashcam footage recorded in Swords between 1.30am and 3am to contact them.
Gardaí spent much of Sunday carrying out door to door inquiries and collecting CCTV footage. They are anxious to piece together the man’s movements on the night up to the time he was attacked. Gardaí are also hopeful the CCTV recordings will also assist in identifying the killers.