Man arrested in relation to the death of a man in derelict Cork house

The body of Frankie Dunne (64) was found on the grounds of a derelict house in December 2019

Frankie Dunne was last seen alive on the evening of December 27th, 2019.

Frankie Dunne was last seen alive on the evening of December 27th, 2019.


Gardaí have made their first arrest in relation to the murder of a homeless man in Cork whose dismembered body was found in the grounds of a derelict house just after Christmas last year.

The 54-year-old man was held by gardaí for questioning on Monday about helping a suspect in the case flee the country.

The body of father of three Frankie Dunne, a native of Churchfield on Cork’s northside, was found on the grounds of Castlegreina House on the Boreenamanna Road on Saturday, December 28th.

Detectives investigating the murder of the 64-year-old arrested a man at this home in the Ballinlough area of Cork’s southside at 7.30am on Monday on suspicion of assisting an offender .

He was brought for questioning to Gurranebraher Garda station where he is being detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, which allows gardaí detain suspects for up to 24 hours.

Officers believe the man helped a 29-year-old Romanian man flee the country by helping him to first travel to Belfast and go from there to Edinburgh from where the suspect took a flight home to Bucharest within days of the incident.

Mr Dunne, who had been living on the streets on and off for a number of years, was last seenleaving Cork Simon’s Clanmornin House on the Boreenamanna Road December 27th at 7pm.

Mr Dunne’s dismembered remains were found in the back garden of derelict Castlegreina House less than 500m from Clanmornin House about 4pm the next day.

Garda investigations quickly led them to focus on a Romanian man living in Cork who travelled first to Belfast on December 30th, then caught a flight to Edinburgh from where he caught a flight back to Romania.

Gardaí made contact through Europol with Romanian police in the man’s home town near Bucharest and they travelled to Romania on January 15th to seek to have him assist them with their inquiries into the killing.

Gardaí have no powers of arrest in Romania but the Romanian police had already found the man and asked him to voluntarily attend at the local police station for the interview in the presence of the investigating gardaí.

The man attended and spent several hours answering questions put to him by Romanian police on behalf of the gardaí who sat in on the interview with the Romanian garda translating his replies.

It is understood that the man was given the Irish caution by Romanian interviewers that anything he said would be taken down and could be used in evidence against him as part of the investigation into the killing of Mr Dunne.

The man also provided forensic samples, which gardaí have since sent to the Forensic Science Ireland laboratory for analysis to see if they match samples taken from the murder scene.

Gardaí are currently preparing a file on the matter for the DPP. If the DPP decides there is sufficient evidence in the garda file to charge the man with Mr Dunne’s killing, it will then be open to gardaí to apply for a European Arrest Warrant, which can only be issued for the purpose of charge.

Mr Dunne is survived by his adult children, five siblings, four grandchildren, nephews, nieces, and his close friends. He was buried in St Michael’s Cemetery in Blackrock following a funeral mass in Knocknaheeny.