The body of a murdered man was in the bedroom of a Dublin City flat for one week. Gardai understand that the flat had become a place where people would meet to take drugs, after a vulnerable tenant ‘lost control’ of the north inner city property.
By the time Gardai were alerted Monday, the victim’s remains had already begun to decompose. DNA testing along with dental records were required to confirm the identity of the man. The remains were found in a ground-floor flat in Kevin Barry House, on Coleraine Street in Dublin 7 just after 6pm on Monday.
The deceased has now been named as Tony Dempsey (28). He had sustained head injuries, leading Gardai to believe he was the victim of a violent assault.
Mr Dempsey was from Dublin’s south inner city, and it is believed he had previously lived in Basin View. It is understood the young man had lived at multiple addresses in Dublin and elsewhere in recent years. A murder investigation has now been launched following a post-mortem.
The victim was reportedly well-known to gardaí, had served time in jail, and had a large number of convictions including for road traffic offences, theft, misuse of drugs, criminal damage, and possession of firearms and knives. He had also been in and out of care during his childhood, and battled addiction and homelessness as an adult. His mother and sister had both passed away in the past two years.
According to reports, the flat in which the body of Mr Dempsey was discovered had been at the centre of multiple reports of anti-social behaviour in the last number of months. The flat, which was about a five-minute wall from O’Connell Street, was managed by national housing and homeless charity, the Peter McVerry Trust, under the Housing First programme for Dublin City Council. The charity insisted that staff visited the property in recent days including over the weekend, but there was ‘no indication’ that someone was dead in the house.
It added that the tenancy of another individual had started to break down in the last number of months, because the vulnerable tenant was struggling to manage the front door and individuals who had no interest in the property or the tenant’s recovery” but who were getting into and using the property, according to the Irish Examiner.
“Staff visited the property daily, including over the weekend, and they had no indication or evidence that someone was deceased at the property or in the vicinity,” Pat Doyle, chief executive of the trust, said in a statement. The Trust added that it was “saddened at the loss of a young life”.
A number of other people were present in the flat, described as a ‘drugs-den’ at the time the discovery of the body was made by gardaí. The Peter McVerry Trust said it was not aware the flat was being used for drug-taking.
There were tributes to Mr Dempsey on social media, with one family member on Facebook writing: “It’s not a dream it’s real don’t worry we will get justice for you. Our lives will never be the same again. All the kids are heart broken”.
“Can’t get my head around it in complete shock from the news I have gotten this evening. Such a cruel world. R.I.P cousin may you get best bed up there in heaven no doubt your sister and Mother are up there waiting for you with open arms till we meet again love you Tony,” a cousin wrote on the platform.
The property has undergone examination by the Garda Technical Bureau, with Gardaí hopeful that forensic evidence gathered during that examination, and from the victim, will help them to identify the killer.