'Frankie, you're at peace now': Family's tribute to man brutally murdered in Cork; Gardai issue fresh appeal for information

Gardaí investigating the gruesome killing of another homeless man in Cork, whose head and arms were apparently cut off, have appealed for witnesses to contact them.

'Frankie, you're at peace now': Family's tribute to man brutally murdered in Cork; Gardai issue fresh appeal for information

- Additional reporting by Digital Desk and Olivia Kelleher

Family members of the man whose dismembered body was found in Cork city on Saturday evening have paid tribute to him.

The family said: "Frankie, you're at peace now. May God give you the best bed in heaven- you were one of a kind, a character, one of the funniest people to know.

We are numb and in shock and tried so hard to help and even up to last week but sadly you preferred the streets.

Mr Dunne's niece Susan added: "I know a lot will be affected by this but we only want peace and privacy for now to take this all in."

In their statement, the family said Mr Dunne is sadly missed by his sisters brother children and friends.

The family said while what happened is shocking to them, they would remember Frankie in happier times.

The family have requested peace and privacy at this time.

Cork Simon Community has said that their thoughts are with the Dunne family at this shocking time.

"Our thoughts and condolences are with the family and friends of Francis Dunne and the people he shared the house with on Boreenmanna Road. Our thoughts are also with the staff and volunteers who supported Francis."

Green Party Councillor Dan Boyle said that Cork cannot let events like this define the city.

"Ours is a peaceful city. We should be shamed that the dignity of a person has been stripped to such a level."

Gardaí have issued another appeal for information, in particular to pedestrians and motorists who may have been in the Boreenmanna Road area since Christmas day.

Gardaí are especially appealing to motorists to make any camera footage, including dashcam footage from the area, available to Gardaí.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Bridewell Garda Station on 021 4943330, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station.

No arrests have been made and investigations are ongoing.

A post-mortem examination has been completed by Locum State Pathologist Dr Heidi Okkers and a preliminary report furnished to investigating Gardaí.

Earlier:Gardaí investigating the gruesome killing of another homeless man in Cork, whose head and arms were apparently cut off, have appealed for witnesses to contact them.

The appeal was made yesterday as gardaí confirmed that a murder probe is under way following the discovery of the dismembered remains on the grounds of an unoccupied house on Boreenmanna Rd at around 4pm on Saturday.

The body was formally identified last night following a postmortem and family members were being contacted.

The deceased was later named locally as Francis Dunne, aged 64, who was originally from the northside of Cork City but who had been engaging with various homeless charities for some time.

Francis Dunne
Francis Dunne

He had recently been living at a supported housing project run by Cork Simon just a few hundreds metres from where his remains were found.

He was last seen at the housing project by staff and fellow residents on Thursday night.

The grim discovery was made on Saturday by a neighbour who was searching for a missing cat on the grounds of Castlegreina House, a boarded-up, detached, two-storey house close to the junction with the South Link Rd.

The decapitated and armless body was found in undergrowth to the rear of the property and the scene was sealed off.

Following a search of the grounds, the missing limbs were later found.

Superintendent Michael Comyns, who is heading up the investigation, declined to comment on the nature of the injuries, other than to confirm they were “severe”. He said speculation about the nature of the injuries was unhelpful to the Garda probe.

Supt Comyns appealed specifically to pedestrians or motorists with dashcams who used Boreenmanna Rd at any stage between Christmas Day last Wednesday and Saturday afternoon, to contact the investigation team at Anglesea Street Garda Station, where an incident room has been set up.

Members of the Garda forensic unit remove the remains from the scene at Castlegreina House on Boreenamanna Rd, Cork yesterday. The victim was named last night as Francis Dunne, right, a 64-year-old originally from the northside of Cork City. Picture: Dan Linehan
Members of the Garda forensic unit remove the remains from the scene at Castlegreina House on Boreenamanna Rd, Cork yesterday. The victim was named last night as Francis Dunne, right, a 64-year-old originally from the northside of Cork City. Picture: Dan Linehan

“It’s a derelict house. There shouldn’t be anyone in or around the house,” he said.

“It is a busy road and there is a lot of traffic. It is also a very busy area for people in the locality to walk to the city centre, which is quite close.

“A lot of people in this area here do walk in to the city and we would particularly appeal to those people as well to come forward if they have seen any activity at all around the house since Christmas Day.”

The house had been the source of several complaints relating to anti-social behaviour, including drinking parties, several months ago.

However, Supt Comyns said the issues had been dealt with by gardaí and things had quietened down in recent months in what is normally a quiet residential area.

Castlegreina House on Boreenmanna Road in Cork city where a body was discovered on Saturday. Pic: Eddie O'Hare
Castlegreina House on Boreenmanna Road in Cork city where a body was discovered on Saturday. Pic: Eddie O'Hare

This murder investigation comes as gardaí in the city continue to investigate the death last October of 53-year-old homeless man Timmy Hourihane.

Mr Hourihane was beaten to death outside his tent on Mardyke Walk.

Two men, one in his 30s and one in his 20s, were arrested on December 16 for questioning about that death.

And last July, Santina Cawley, aged two, died after being found with critical injuries at a flats complex at the eastern end of Boreenmanna Rd, just over 1km away, at Elderwood Park.

A woman, who is not related to the child, has been charged with murder.

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