Cause of death for man found in recycle facility not yet established

Gardaí continue investigation into homeless man Mark Burke’s death, coroner hears

 The scene at the Thorntons Recycling plant on Kileen Road, Ballyfermot last August. Photograph: Colin Keegan/ Collins Dublin.

The scene at the Thorntons Recycling plant on Kileen Road, Ballyfermot last August. Photograph: Colin Keegan/ Collins Dublin.

 

A cause of death has not been established for a homeless man whose body parts were discovered at a recycling facility last summer, Dublin Coroner’s Court has heard.

The remains of Mark Burke (36) of Moreen Park in Sandyford, Dublin 16, were found at Thornton’s Recycling Plant on the Killeen Road in Ballyfermot, Dublin 10, on July 31st last year.

Mr Burke is believed to have been sleeping rough for a number of months and his last known address was Bentley House, a homeless shelter in Dun Laoghaire.

At the opening of the inquest into his death, senior investigating officer on the case Detective Inspector Colm O’Malley of Clondalkin Garda station told the Dublin coroner the investigation is “active” with “a number of lines of inquiry” being pursued. He requested an adjournment of the inquest to allow gardaí carry out their investigation.

Mr Burke was identified by DNA comparison using a sample taken from his mother Bernadette Murphy. Coroner Dr Brian Farrell said that identification was confirmed by Dr Hillary Clarke, forensic scientist with the Garda Technical Bureau. Her report submitted to the court indicated a “high correlation” between the DNA retrieved from the body parts and Ms Murphy’s sample, he said.

The postmortem examination was carried out by deputy state pathologist Dr Michael Curtis on August 1st and 5th last year. Dr Farrell told the family, represented in court by Mr Burke’s father, that in his preliminary report, Dr Curtis has said that the cause of death is “undetermined at the present time”.

Det Insp O’Malley confirmed that gardaíare carrying out a criminal investigation into the death.

Dr Farrell adjourned the inquest for a further update on June 15th.