Belfast Telegraph

Garda appeal after decapitated body of homeless man found at derelict property

The remains of the deceased are taken from the scene at Castlegreina House
The remains of the deceased are taken from the scene at Castlegreina House

By Ralph Riegel

Police in the Republic fear a man was savagely beaten before having his head and arm severed, with his headless corpse then dumped in the garden of a derelict Cork house.

A full murder investigation was launched as Garda Superintendent Michael Comyns issued a public appeal for information over the horrific killing.

Gardai are now trying to determine if the victim, named locally as Francis 'Frankie' Dunne (64), was killed at the Boreenmanna Road scene where his headless body was found or if he was killed elsewhere.

Mr Dunne, who was a client of Cork homeless support services, had been living locally but was originally from the Churchfield area of Cork city. A major search operation overnight at the property resulted in the recovery of the missing body parts.

Mr Comyns urged people to assist gardai with their enquiries, and said it was such a busy area that someone must have seen something vital to their ongoing investigation.

"We are appealing for any persons who may have passed on Boreenmanna Road over the last number of days, going back to Christmas Day, if they had seen any activity around this derelict house, to please contact us," he said.

Mr Comyns said gardai wanted to speak to motorists, drivers with dash-cams, pedestrians and locals who were in the quiet residential area since December 25.

"We can say there were severe injuries but we do not know the full extent of them. I would ask that any speculation that has been going on since yesterday evening - it is not helpful to our investigation."

Mr Comyns also said that anyone with information has nothing to fear from coming forward.

Gardai still have no idea precisely how long the body was in the garden.

"We are hoping that the post-mortem will help us out with that. But it isn't there long-term."

The body was found in undergrowth in the garden of 19th-century Castlegreina House, known locally as 'The Castle', which has been unoccupied for several years.

Locum Assistant State Pathologist Dr Heidi Okkers visited the scene yesterday morning and later conducted a full post-mortem examination at Cork University Hospital (CUH) on the body and body parts.

The deceased had not been seen around the city since after Boxing Day.

The alarm was raised by a shocked local at 4pm on Saturday afternoon. Initial indications are that the man may have been lying dead outside for potentially between two and four days.

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