Death of Donegal man callous, says coroner


A CORONER has described the killing of a businessman as “cruel, cold and callous”.

John Cannon was speaking at Letterkenny Court yesterday after accepting a verdict of unlawful killing in the death of undertaker and horse-dealer Shaun Duffy.

Mr Duffy (36), of Dungloe, Co Donegal, was found dead at his home on January 29th, 2005.

He was lying face-down and had been stabbed four times, beaten about the head, and an arrow was stuck into his arm.

Mr Cannon said he was restricted in what he could say as this was still a live investigation, but the evidence pointed to a very brutal death.

“What we saw and heard in evidence pointed to a cruel, cold and callous death.

“It is unimaginable that a person could have a will to do this to another human being.

“Shaun Duffy was a private person with secrets known only to himself. He did not deserve to die like this,” said the coroner.

Garda Supt Michael Finan stressed this was not the end of the investigation into the killing.

“The investigation into the death of Shaun Duffy is ongoing and will remain so.

“We continue to pursue a number of lines on inquiry, with this inquest bringing the matter into the public domain.

“We would again appeal to anybody who may have information on Mr Duffy’s death to contact us in the strictest of confidence,” he said.

The family of Shaun Duffy said they hoped the investigation into his killing would make progress soon.

“We are satisfied with the verdict returned today, but notwithstanding today’s verdict we hope that in the not too distant future, the ongoing Garda investigation into Shaun’s death will bear fruit.”

Shaun’s mother, Kathleen, said the past five years since Shaun’s “violent and tragic death” had been long and traumatic.

“It is a great relief to the family to commence the inquest. It has been harrowing to relive the details of Shaun’s brutal death.

“However, the process, and the verdict of unlawful killing, in a small way, assist us as a family in our grieving for Shaun.

“We will always remember Shaun as a kind and loving person.

“Shaun was a likeable person, devoted to his mother and grandmother, with a large circle of friends,” she added.

More than 1,000 people have been interviewed since Mr Duffy was found dead.