Man found dead in Stephen’s Green was ‘up for GAA match’

Deceased in his 30s initially thought to be homeless – but was farm worker from Kerry

Thomas Joseph Kearney was in Dublin for the Kerry v Dublin match in Croke Park last weekend. Photograph: The Irish Times

Thomas Joseph Kearney was in Dublin for the Kerry v Dublin match in Croke Park last weekend. Photograph: The Irish Times

 

A man who was found dead in St Stephen’s Green, Dublin earlier this week was “up for the weekend” from Kerry to attend a football match.

Thomas Joseph Kearney, who was in his 30s, from Ballyhennessy, Lixnaw, Co Kerry, was found in the city-centre park by a homeless man on Monday morning.

The dead man had worked as a farm worker and had gone to Dublin for the Kerry versus Dublin football match at Croke Park last weekend.

It had been assumed Mr Kearney was homeless as he was found in a blue sleeping bag, the same as those issued by the rough-sleeper team – run jointly by Focus Ireland and the Peter McVerry Trust.

Assumption

A spokesman for the McVerry Trust however said Mr Kearney had not been known to homeless services in Dublin, or in Kerry. He said his team did meet him however last Sunday night.

“The rough-sleeper count was going on on Sunday night as part of the Census and what we have established is that some of our team came across him and gave him a sleeping bag. So he had the standard issue sleeping bag and that is why, I suppose, it was assumed he was homeless.

“The suggestion is that he was in Dublin, up for the weekend for an event and that he may have simply missed his transport home. He probably climbed in over the railings of the park, for a bit of shelter.”

The cause of his death is not clear. It was not a particularly cold night, according to Met Éireann, with a minimum air temperature of 6.3 degrees and a minimum ground temperature of 5.2 degrees, recorded at the nearest station in the Phoenix Park.

Mr Kearney was buried on Friday in his native Lixnaw. He is survived by his mother Joan, father Leo, sisters Marie, Siobhán, Susan and Catherine, brothers John, Maurice and Michael and other extended family.

Gardaí are not treating his death as suspicious.