Man released in investigation into death of homeless father

Foreign national arrested on suspicion of assisting suspect to flee Ireland


Gardaí are to prepare a file for the Director of Public Prosecutions after releasing without charge a 54-year-old man arrested over allegedly assisting a suspect to flee the country before officers could arrest him for questioning about the murder of a homeless man in Cork.

Detectives investigating the murder of father of three Frankie Dunne (64) in Cork last December arrested a foreign national in the Ballinlough area of Cork’s southside at about 7.30am on Monday morning on suspicion of assisting an offender.

Gardaí believe the man assisted 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 caught a flight home to Bucharest within days of the killing.

The man, the first to be arrested in the murder investigation, was brought for questioning to Gurranebraher Garda Station where he was detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act which allows gardai detain suspects for up to 24 hours.

But at about 2am on Tuesday morning, the man was released without charge and gardaí have confirmed they will now prepare a file for the DPP.

Mr Dunne, who was originally from Churchfield in Cork but had been living rough on the streets on and off for a number of years, was murdered after leaving Cork Simon’s Clanmornin House on the Boreenamanna Road at 7pm on December 27th.

His dismembered remains were found in the back garden of derelict Castlegreina House at the city end on the Boreenamanna Road less than 500 metres from Clanmornin House on Cork’s southside at about 4pm on December 28th.

Garda investigations quickly led them to focus on a 29-year-old Romanian man who had been living in Cork and they made contact through Europol with Romanian police in the man’s home town near Bucharest and they travelled to Romania on January 15th as part of their investigation.

Gardaí have no powers of arrest in Romania but the Romanian police had already located the man and they requested him to voluntarily attend at the local police station for the interview in the presence of four detectives and a Romanian member of An Garda Siochana who travelled from Cork.

The man duly attended at the local police station and spent several hours answering questions put to him by Romanian police after he was given the Irish caution by Romanian interviewers that anything he said would be taken down and could be used in evidence against him.

Gardaí are currently preparing a file on the matter for the DPP and 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, who is survived by his adult children, John, Catherine and Chlóe, his siblings, Michael, Susie, Theresa, Monica and Catherine, his four grandchildren, nephews, nieces and his close friend Joan, was buried in St Michael’s Cemetery in Blackrock following a funeral mass in Knocknaheeny.