Man arrested in sleeping bag killing inquiry

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin spoke of his horror after learning about the circumstances surrounding the death in Phoenix Park.

A man was arrested last night by gardaí investigating the death of a man who had been beaten and set alight inside a sleeping bag in Dublin’s Phoenix Park.

On Friday morning the body of an Irishman in his 40s, who was homeless, was discovered in the undergrowth near the Wellington monument.

He had died in the early hours of Friday morning and was discovered by gardaí after dawn.

Initial investigations suggested he had be severely beaten in a sleeping bag and set on fire. Tests suggested he was more than likely unconscious when the fire started.

When he was found gardaí were unable to identify him due to the extent of his injuries.

At this stage gardaí know who the victim is, but are still awaiting the results of DNA results and dental scans.

The first arrest was made yesterday by gardaí in Blanchardstown at about 3pm.

The suspect, who is understood to be Irish, is aged 27 and was brought to Finglas Garda Station for questioning.

He was arrested under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, which allows gardaí an initial 24 hours to question people who they believed may have been involved in a serious crime.

His arrest came after Archbishop Diarmuid Martin spoke of his horror after learning about the circumstances surrounding the death in Phoenix Park.

Dr Martin said the culture of guns and violence, which was evident in Dublin and internationally, was something ordinary people should not stand for.

“I am horrified by the news of someone being burned alive in the Phoenix Park in these days,” he said.

“Christians in our society must find the ways to speak up and stand up as witnesses to the God of peace and loving care.”

The archbishop, in a homily delivered in Westland Row, said as Christmas approaches people should reflect on how often news was breaking of lives being ended by knives and guns.

“In our own city how often do we read about knives being raised in violence and guns in vengeance and lives, young lives, being ruined?”

He said the society was slipping into a bad place.

The arrest came as gardaí separately downgraded the investigation into the death of a woman in Rialto on Saturday.

The 29-year-old woman was found at a house on St Anthony’s Road at 5.30pm on Saturday.

An autopsy was carried out by state pathologist Marie Cassidy and gardaí are no longer treating it as suspicious.


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