Inquest told death of homeless man Mark Burke ‘unexplained’

Investigation continuing into case of remains discovered at recycling plant in Ballyfermot

Mark Burke: Family members at the inquest asked whether gardaí were treating his death as murder

Mark Burke: Family members at the inquest asked whether gardaí were treating his death as murder

 

Gardaí are treating the death of a homeless man whose body parts were discovered in a recycling plant as an “unexplained death”.

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.

Family members at an inquest into Mr Burke’s death asked whether gardaí were treating his death as murder.

Senior investigating officer Det Insp Colm O’Malley of Clonalkin Garda station confirmed the death was being treated as unexplained and investigations were continuing. Det Insp O’Malley applied to the Coroner’s Court for a date for a full hearing of the inquest into Mr Burke’s death.

DNA comparison

No cause of death has been established for Mr Burke, a father of seven who is believed to have been sleeping rough for a number of months before his death.

He was identified by DNA comparison using a sample taken from his mother.

In his preliminary postmortem report, deputy state pathologist Dr Michael Curtis gave the cause of death as “undetermined”.

Coroner Dr Brian Farrell said the reason for consecutive adjournments of the inquest was to allow for continued investigation.

“Could it have been a homicide? We don’t know. We can go ahead with the inquest and the Garda file will remain open. We will be hearing the circumstances as we know them and any further information can go to gardaí,” said Dr Farrell.

Det Insp Burke said the “circumstances of where and how the remains were discovered” were still under investigation and the Garda file would remain open.

Dr Farrell adjourned the inquest for full hearing on April 6th, 2016.