Pair due in court over man’s murder in sheltered housing

Gardaí appeal to taxi drivers in murder case as DPP consulted on criminal charges


A man and woman are due before the courts this morning to face charges for their alleged roles in the murder of Thomas Horan (63).

The suspects were arrested in north Dublin on Wednesday afternoon, two days after Mr Horan had been found dead in his flat at Cambridge Court, Cambridge Road, Ringsend, south Dublin.

A 27-year-old man and a 37-year-old woman were arrested and detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act allowing for their detention without charge for up to 24 hours.

Their period of detention was extended for 12 hours after an initial 12-hour period had expired early yesterday.

However, because their questioning was suspended overnight to allow them sleep into yesterday morning while in custody in Irishtown and Donnybrook garda stations, their 24-hour period of detention did not expire until late last night.

The charges were put to the male and female suspects at the Garda stations last night and both remained in custody overnight ahead of a scheduled appearance before the Dublin District Court at 10.30am today.

Mr Horan was originally from Mullingar, Co Westmeath, but spent most of his adult life in Dublin. His ex-wife lives in the south inner city while his daughter is abroad. He had an intellectual disability and worked at times as a handyman.

The investigating team believes Mr Horan was attacked at his home in the early hours of Monday.

The first gardaí learned of any problem at the flat, which is part of a sheltered housing complex for older people run by Dublin City Council, was when a woman rang 999 at about 4am on Monday to report that Mr Horan was injured at his home.

When gardaí and paramedics arrived they found Mr Horan in the bedroom of his ground-floor flat, where he lived alone. Efforts were made to revive him but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Personnel shortages at the State Pathologist’s office meant the postmortem was not completed until Wednesday afternoon, more than two days after he died.

It concluded that he was strangled and that he had suffered blunt force trauma to the body during an assault. A murder inquiry was initiated.

However, despite the delay in confirming foul play, gardaí in Irishtown suspected third- party involvement from the outset and were treating the case as a homicide.

The scene was sealed off when the body was found and has since undergone an examination by members of the Garda Technical Bureau.

Shortly after the post mortem results became available and the investigation was upgraded to a murder inquiry, the suspects were arrested and have been in detention since then.