Dead man may have been attacked with bottle during row, gardai believe

 

The man killed in a violent row on St Stephen's Green on Tuesday night was yesterday named as Mr Paddy Pepper. He had severe injuries to his face and head and gardaí believe he may have been attacked with a bottle by a man he was drinking with in the park earlier that day.

Garda sources last night were studying a video which they hoped would identify Mr Pepper's attacker. Mr Pepper was originally from Ringsend in Dublin but gardaí believe he was recently living in the Harold's Cross area of the city. He is understood to have children by an earlier marriage but was not in a permanent relationship at the time of his killing.

He was in his early 40s. The body was found at about 10.30 p.m. on St Stephen's Green east, beside the Wolfe Tone monument opposite the Shelbourne Hotel.

The monument has been cordoned off from the public during construction work by the firm SIAC so many passers-by would not have seen anything.

However, one witness said a number of homeless people had been drinking behind a hoarding and there was a loud row at one stage.

The man had received serious injuries to his face and head. Gardaí did not confirm the weapons used but it is understood that a bottle was removed for forensic examination.

The State Pathologist, Dr John Harbison, visited the scene after midnight for a preliminary investigation. The body was removed to Dublin City Morgue at 2.30 a.m. and Dr Harbison carried out a full post-mortem yesterday.

The investigation is being headed by Det Insp John Fitzpatrick of Pearse Street station, in conjunction with gardaí at Harcourt Terrace.

Dúchas, the Heritage Service, closed St Stephen's Green park yesterday, in co-operation with gardaí. Notices explaining this were dotted around the entrances.

Tourists looked through the main gates yesterday, wondering aloud about the reason for the closure.

Further up the street, gardaí had sealed off a small area and two officers were preserving the scene for technical examination.

The killing was a sign that Dublin was becoming a more dangerous place at night, said Mr John Byrne, who was sitting outside a shop on Merrion Row yesterday.

"Things are getting out of hand over there," he said, pointing to the Green. People were drinking in the park after it was locked at night and sleeping out. "When I came in this morning, they told me a lad was murdered over there. It's awful, nobody is safe anymore."

The Fear on the Streets series is available in full on The Irish Times website. Readers can continue to submit their experiences of crime on the streets to www.ireland.com/focus/streetcrime/