independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Gardai seek ex-partner and child of man burnt alive

Members of the Gardai remove the body of Gerard Donnelly the Phoenix Park. Inset: Ciaran Moran who has been charged with Mr Donnelly's murder

THE haulier who was burned alive in the Phoenix Park was a father of one child. Detectives have yet to find Gerard Donnelly's former partner and child, who are now believed to be living in the UK.

The revelation came as a man was charged with murder and a teenage girl was arrested by gardai in connection with the case.

Mr Donnelly (36) grew up at the Tree Park Drive estate in Tallaght, Dublin and sold the family home around eight years ago.

He was an only child and his father died over 20 years ago when he was still a teenager.

Gary Doyle currently lives in the three-bedroom family home in Tallaght where Mr Donnelly, an only child, lived alone with his mother.

He said it resembled "something akin to a religious shrine" when he first moved in over eight years ago.

"All the rooms were painted in a florescent bright blue and yellow colour and there were religious crosses painted on all the walls in the backroom upstairs."

Another local resident said Mr Donnelly had moved to the UK in 2005 to "start a new life" with his girlfriend and newborn child.

Gardai believe that he had been 'sleeping rough' for some time in the Phoenix Park, where his remains were discovered last Friday.

Yesterday at Dublin District Court, Ciaran Moran (27), who has an address at Camden Hall, Camden Street, Dublin, appeared, charged with the murder of Mr Donnelly at Wellington Road, in the Phoenix Park, on or about November 29.

Mr Moran, who had a bruised eye and cuts to the top of his head, remained silent during the court hearing.

Detective Sergeant Thomas Lynch told Judge Ann Ryan that Mr Moran had been detained under Section Four of the Criminal Justice Act.

At 10.30pm on Monday, the DPP issued a direction to charge Mr Moran "with the offence of murder".

The charge was put to Mr Moran at Cabra garda station at 11.55pm on Monday and "he made no reply after caution".

Due to the nature of the charge, a bail application can only be made at the High Court.

Judge Ryan consented to Det Sgt Lynch's application to remand Mr Moran in custody for one week to appear again at Cloverhill District Court on December 10.

A 20-year-old man who had also been arrested has been released without charge, but gardai were continuing to interview a 17-year-old girl last night.

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