Gardaí seek man in river body probe

Click this story to watch Superintendent Eddie McKeown speaking at Bandon Garda Station this morning.

GARDAÍ are searching for a man missing from an apartment block where a 27-year-old father-of-one was beaten to death and throw into a nearby river. Senior garda sources confirmed last night that they are looking for the man, believed to be in his 20s, because they are concerned for his welfare and they want to eliminate from their inquiries.

Gardaí believe that Jonathan Duke, a single man, who is the father of a 6-year-old girl, suffered serious injuries during an attack which may have taken place at Bridge House apartment complex — also known as the O’Callaghan Flats — in Bandon, Co Cork.

Mr Duke, who did not normally reside in the apartment complex, was known to local gardaí for his alcohol-fuelled public order convictions.

It is believed that he may have been socialising with at least two other people in the top-floor flat of the three-storey building on Sunday evening.

Two people have been arrested in connection with his death.

The detainees are a woman, originally from the Kinsale area, and an Eastern European man, with who she is believed to have had an on-off relationship over the years.

Gardaí were told by a passerby at 11.06pm that they had seen a body being thrown into the river near the town’s main bridge.

Ironically, Mr Duke cheated death in June 2009 when he fell from the same third-floor flat in the same building.

He spent six months recovering from his injuries.

Gardaí believe the unemployed labourer may have been at a party in the top floor apartment as early as 6pm when an argument broke out.

The missing man gardaí are looking for lived at a ground-floor flat.

Supt Eddie MacEoin, who is leading the garda inquiry, said that gardaí were conducting house-to-house inquiries and studying CCTV of the area.

Supt MacEoin said that gardaí were looking at the possibility that Mr Duke and other people had been socialising in the town prior to his death.

Mr Duke’s mother Michelle and his three sisters are said to be devastated by his death. It is understood Ms Duke was working in the Ho Kee Chinese restaurant just feet away as the drama unfolded, unaware that the body of her son was being pulled from the river.

Footage courtesy of Dan Linehan, Irish Examiner

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