The battered body of Peter Murphy was discovered at his remote, rented home at lunchtime last Saturday, exhibiting what senior gardaí describe as “unexplained injuries.”
Gardaí believe the front door of his white-washed bungalow at Shanavoher, Bweeng was smashed in sometime between last Thursday evening and lunchtime on Saturday.
A passerby noticed the broken glass panels and informed the landlord, who found the single man’s body in the sitting room. He immediately contacted gardaí and they sealed off the house for forensic examination.
Mr Murphy was pronounced dead at the scene by a local GP.
It is understood that an autopsy, carried out by the assistant State pathologist, Margaret Bolster, at Cork University Hospital, revealed he had suffered significant head and internal injuries.
Gardaí know Mr Murphy was alive at 4pm last Thursday, because he took a call from his mother, Maria, and two hours prior to that he was seen by a local.
He was not a frequent pub-goer and did most of his socialising at home, or at other people’s houses.
Some local sources say he occasionally bought drugs for personal use, but could not describe him as a dealer, although it is understood gardaí are looking at this lifestyle as a potential lead into his death.
Originally from Shinnick Place in Castletownroche, he had rented the property for more than a year.
Although unemployed, he did odd jobs fixing cars and motorcycles and undertook some work as a handyman.
A near neighbour, Sean McSweeney, described Mr Murphy as a “very unassuming person,” who was “quiet and kept himself to himself.”
Although Mr McSweeney lives around 80m away, he said he rarely saw him.
The house where his body was found is about 10km from Mallow.
It is situated around 1km off the main Bweeing-Dromahane road, on a road which leads to the village of Glantane.
Gardaí are following a number of lines of inquiry, including trying to establish if he had a falling out with anybody which led to his death.
They held a case conference at Mallow garda station last night, which was attended by a number of senior members of the force.
Superintendent Pat McCarthy, who is leading the investigation, said he believes “there are people out there who possess vital information” about the man’s death and appealed for them to come forward.
“The area may be remote, but a lot of people walk around there. We are looking to speak to anybody who saw any strange vehicle or motorcycle in the area between last Thursday and Saturday,” Supt McCarthy said.
Contrary to reports in other newspapers, he said there was no evidence to suggest the dead man was out socialising in area last Friday and Saturday night.
Up to 40 gardaí are working on the inquiry at present.
Mr Murphy is survived by his parents, Denis and Maria, who live in Castletownroche, by brothers Fergal and Adrian, and sister Tara.
Gardaí are appealing to anyone who saw anyone in the area, or any suspicious vehicles, between 4pm on Thursday and Saturday morning to contact Mallow Garda Station at (022) 21105.