Gardaí are believed to be spearheading an international manhunt for a suspect after the “macabre” decapitation of a man in Cork City.
A person of interest was reportedly captured on CCTV in Belfast boarding a flight to Edinburgh within 48 hours of the killing before travelling on to Eastern Europe.
Gardaí are believed to be liaising with colleagues in the the North and in Scotland and may now issue a European arrest warrant in their hunt for the suspect.
It is reported that the person of interest may have been occasionally squatting in Castlegreina House, the detached period property on Boreenmanna Rd, outside which Francis ‘Frankie’ Dunne’s dismembered body was found on Saturday.
Mr Dunne’s gruesome death has shocked the nation and rocked the local homeless community.
The 64-year-old’s headless, armless torso was found in undergrowth to the rear of the unoccupied property last Saturday by someone searching for their missing cat.
Mr Dunne’s head and arms were later found in the back garden area following a search.
It is understood that gardaí saw the person of interest on CCTV in the area after a murder investigation involving more than 50 gardaí was launched.
They managed to source a phone number which they later traced to Belfast Airport, where the suspect was reportedly captured on CCTV boarding a plane to Edinburgh, reported Virgin Media.
Mr Dunne spent Christmas Day with family before returning to Cork Simon’s high-support housing unit on Boreenmanna Rd where he was living at the time of his death.
Two days later, he reportedly left to go for a walk. His body was found the following day at 4pm.
Mr Dunne was described by family as “a kind, gentle man”, “one of a kind... a character and one of the funniest men I knew”.
Mr Dunne’s niece, Susan Martin, has started a GoFundMe page in his name to raise money for homeless charities.
Ms Martin said that all proceeds will go directly to the Cork Simon Community, which helped Mr Dunne, and to Caring for Cork’s Homeless.
Mr Dunne’s body is due to be released to his family in the coming days and a funeral will likely take place next week.
Gardaí have described the case as “macabre” and “puzzling”.
Forensic examinations at the crime scene ended yesterday after five days of detailed examinations.
Mr Dunne is the second homeless person killed in Cork City in three months.
Gardaí are continuing to investigate the murder of Timmy Hourihane, a former chef who was sleeping in a tent before he was beaten to death on Mardyke Walk last October.
Two arrests have been made in connection with his killing.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Bridewell Garda Station on 021 4943330, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800666111, or any garda station.