Wednesday 26 April 2017

UN veteran battered to death with brush handle

Barry Duggan and Tom Brady

A FORMER Congo peacekeeper violently beaten to death in his home was struck repeatedly across the head, face and neck with a broken brush handle.

Ex-soldier Jimmy Boyce (72) died in his Limerick city home after allowing his killer into the house.

Mr Boyce's body was found by gardai on Monday evening after his neighbours in St Mary's Park became concerned for his safety. The victim was found in the upstairs bedroom of his home on St Munchin's Street .

It is understood the room had been locked and gardai forced their way in.

During a post-mortem examination by state pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy, marks believed to have been sustained during the assault, were found on his head and face.

No arrests have yet been made but gardai are satisfied with the progress of their investigations.

They have already spoken to a number of people, including one young man, who may yet prove crucial to their investigation. Footage from a CCTV system in St Mary's Park is also being carefully examined.

The victim's terraced home remained sealed off yesterday, while officers continued to carry out inquiries.

Mr Boyce's brother and sister, David and Noreen, are making their way to Limerick from London for this weekend's funeral. He has other relations, including a nephew in Meelick, Co Clare.

Fighting

A former Irish soldier with the 2nd/3rd battalion, Mr Boyce served with distinction as part of the United Nations force in the Congo in 1961.

He spent six years in the Army from 1956 and came from a family with a proud military tradition.

His late brother, Michael, also served in the Congo and was a decorated veteran who was present during heavy fighting in Katanga in 1961.

Local parish priest Fr Donough O'Malley said the murder of Mr Boyce was "a very sad situation".

Fr O'Malley noted that earlier this week another pensioner, Francis Allen (73), died in his home following a house fire.

"The one thing that has been said to me is how good the neighbours of these men were for looking after them," he said.

Local councillor John Gilligan said Mr Boyce was "a very quiet man, who cycled his bike up and down and saluted everyone".

Mr Boyce's funeral will take place on Saturday with 10am Mass at St Mary's Church.

Irish Independent

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