Murder victim Vincent Parsons ‘met very violent death’ - senior Garda officer

Tallaght murder: Gardaí believe dead man clashed with killers in pub

Murder victim Vincent Parsons met a "very violent death" according to the senior garda officer leading the inquiry into the fatal attack on the 34-year-old father of two.

Supt Ian Lackey said an incident room had been established at Tallaght Garda station, adding more than 50 garda members had been assigned to the case.

At the spot where Mr Parsons was found with what proved to be fatal injuries, wreaths of flowers and a crucifix have been left along with cards and messages paying tribute to him, including one from his wife.

“To my darling husband, I am going to miss you forever, the message read. “Sleep tight babe, I will take care of our babies. I’ll love you forever, heartbroken.”


Another card read: “Vino, you’ve a face we will never forget, rest in peace my brother, love you always.”

While a lot of progress had already been made in the case, Supt Lackey appealed to more members of the public to come forward, saying investigating gardaí needed the public’s help.

Mr Parsons, a welder by trade who was never involved in any form of crime, was socialising with friends in the Killinarden Public House in Tallaght on Saturday night when an altercation occurred.

The incident spilled over to the outside of the premises and though Mr Parsons left on foot at least two men followed him.

It appears the men, who are the chief suspects in the case, drove after Mr Parsons in a van.

They caught up with him and fatally beat him on the roadside outside a Mace shop and Killinarden post office at the Killinarden housing estate.

Critical condition

He was taken to Tallaght Hospital after the attack on Saturday night and while he was in a critical condition there with head injuries for 48 hours he was pronounced dead at the hospital on Monday night.

“The post mortem is taking place today; the initial findings of that post mortem are that Vincent met a very violent death,” Supt Lackey told the media at a public appeal in Tallaght Garda station on Tuesday afternoon.

“Our inquiry has been upgraded to that of a murder investigation and we have a team of in excess of 50 detectives and gardaí working on it.

“On the night we believe there may have been an altercation in the nearby Killinarden Public House.

“We ask anybody who was there between 10pm and shortly after 11pm that saw any incident in the pub or outside the pub or where Vincent was found opposite Whitestown Industrial Estate to come forward.

“People have come forward to date and we thank them for that. We would be particularly appealing to motorists and taxi drivers who may have recorded some footage unbeknownst to them on their dashcams … we need more people to come forward. We have made progress in this investigation but we need the public’s help.

“There’s no indication at this stage that there were weapons used but the preliminary findings of the post mortem would indicate that his death was extremely violent,” he said.

‘Significant attack’

“There was some form of altercation in the pub. But the significant attack took place outside the pub. We believe there was at least two people involved.

“We have made some progress to date but we need the public’s help in bringing this further. We do not believe the suspects were known to the victim.”

He said the victim was a 34-year-old man with a wife and two children. He worked as a welder and had never had any interaction with gardaí.

“He was at a social gathering with some friends in the pub. We don’t know what happened in the pub so we don’t know what preceded it.

“We have done significant canvassing of CCTV and we have a significant amount gathered in.”

Mr Parsons sustained a litany of injuries consistent with a severe beating with the injuries to his head proving fatal.

Gardaí believe people who were in the company of Dublin’s latest murder victim and his killers on Saturday night may be able to help bring those responsible to justice.

They also believe forensic evidence taken from the scene, the victim’s remains and his clothing will provide valuable.

Louise Dunne, a Sinn Féin councillor representing Tallaght-South, said the local community is "devastated" by the loss of the young man.

“There is just a huge community outcry over the violent death on our doorsteps,” Ms Dunne said.

Mick Duff, an Independent councillor representing Tallaght-Central, said the community is completely shocked.

“People just can’t believe it. There is no comprehension as to how this sort of thing can happen to a young man,” Mr Duff said. “There’s no place for that kind of violence in our community.”

“I sincerely hope that anyone with any leads will speak with officers in Tallaght Garda station so the perpetrators can be brought to justice,” he added.

Charlie O'Connor, a Fianna Fáil representative for Tallaght-Central, also appealed to the community to help gardaí in any way they can.

“You hear about these things happening all over the country but when they happen right next door you are even more in shock. We are all just in deep upset,” he added.

Investigating gardaí are appealing to those who were in the vicinity of a public house in Killinarden on Saturday night between 10pm and 11pm to come forward.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Tallaght Garda station 01-6666000 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111.

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times