Family pay tribute as it emerges Cork murder victim had just moved into homeless accommodation

Family pay tribute as it emerges Cork murder victim had just moved into homeless accommodation

- Additional reporting by Eoin English and Digital Desk

Murder victim Francis 'Frankie' Dunne was a client of a high-support shelter a short distance from where his decapitated body was found.

Although he had used various homeless supports for some years, he only moved into the Cork Simon-run Clanmornin House on Boreenmanna Road last summer.

Mr Dunne was also a regular at Cork Penny Dinners. Those who knew Mr Dunne described him as non-confrontational and a person who kept to himself.

The high-support facility is manned by staff around the clock, but it wasn't unusual for Mr Dunne to go off on his own for a day or two at a time. There were also around 10 other clients of Cork Simon living there.

In a statement issued by Mr Dunne's family they said he was "living in a lovely place for the homeless".

A Cork Simon spokesman said their thoughts and condolences are with Mr Dunne's family, friends and the people, staff and volunteers he shared Clanmornin House with.

The gruesome manner of his death has shocked Cork Simon staff, volunteers and the other clients cared for at the high-support unit.

It is just a short distance from Castlegreina House, where his headless and armless torso was found at around 4pm last Saturday by a person looking for their cat.

Family pay tribute as it emerges Cork murder victim had just moved into homeless accommodation

Castlegreina House, which is close to the junction of the South Link Road, is a detached, boarded-up Gothic-style house which has been unoccupied for more than a year and in recent months become known for anti-social behaviour, mainly caused by drinking parties.

The house is little more than a kilometer from Cork's city centre.

Gardaí later found Mr Dunne's head and torso and arms a short distance from where his torso had been discovered under a bush.

Mr Dunne's niece, Susan Marty, posted three pictures of him, at various ages, on her Facebook page and paid tribute to him.

She wrote: "May God give you the best bed in heaven. You were one of a kind.... a character and one of the funniest men I knew. We are all numb and in shock."

She said the family had tried so hard for years to help him even up until last week.

"All the family did their best but he preferred the streets. Sadly enough he wasn’t homeless at the time he was living in Boreenmana road in a lovely home for the homeless," she wrote.

Ms Marty said her uncle was dearly missed and loved by his sisters, his brother, children, family and friends and everyone who knew him.

She added that what had happened to her uncle is 'shocking' and the family prefer to think of him in happy times. It remained unclear yesterday if gardaí have found the murder weapon/weapons.

Family pay tribute as it emerges Cork murder victim had just moved into homeless accommodation

Searches were carried out in the area and house-to-house inquiries were continuing as part of the murder investigation.

Gardaí said that locum State Pathologist, Dr Heidi Okkers, had provided them with the preliminary results of the post mortem but they would not be making the details in it public "for operational reasons".

They are appealing to motorists and pedestrians who may have been in the Boreenmanna Road area since Christmas Day to come forward, especially if they possess dash-cam footage. No arrests have yet been made and investigations are ongoing.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Bridewell Garda Station at 021 4943330.

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