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Thursday 23 November 2017

'Chess murder' - suspect claims he ate victim's heart

Shocked friends pay tribute to researcher killed at home

The body of Tom O'Gorman (inset) is removed from the scene in Castleknock. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
The body of Tom O'Gorman (inset) is removed from the scene in Castleknock. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
State Pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy (centre) at the scene in Castleknock, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
A Garda at the scene on Beechpark Avenue, Castleknock, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Paul Williams, Tom Brady and Cormac Murphy

A MAN who has admitted murdering his landlord in a row over a chess match has told gardai he then ate his victim's heart.

Last night a post-mortem examination on the body of journalist/researcher Tom O'Gorman (39) discovered that one of the victim's lungs had been removed in the horrific attack.

Gardai made the gruesome discovery at Mr O'Gorman's home in Beechpark Avenue, Castleknock, Dublin, when the suspect -- a 34-year-old Italian man -- phoned the emergency services at around 12.50am yesterday.

Originally from Palermo in Sicily, the man has been living in Ireland for the past two-and-a-half years working for a pharmaceutical company in Dublin.

He had been living in Mr O'Gorman's house as a lodger over the past number of months.

It is understood the Italian, who was described as being "calm", told gardai that he had killed a man. An operator kept him on the line as emergency personnel rushed to the scene.

When officers arrived, they found Mr O'Gorman's badly mutilated body in a pool of blood.

The Italian claimed he killed his victim following a row over a chess move -- and then ate his heart.

The suspect, who was arrested at the scene, later told gardai that Mr O'Gorman asked him to leave the house following the row and he agreed to do so.

However, Mr O'Gorman, who was a researcher with the Catholic lobby organisation the Iona Institute, was then attacked and stabbed with a kitchen knife a number of times but managed to fight off his assailant.

He was then beaten several times over the head with a dumbbell.

There were a number of stab wounds to the body and blunt-force trauma to the head. The chest cavity had been opened with a knife.

Sources revealed that the post-mortem examination was unable to establish if the victim was dead before his body was mutilated.

A source said: "The victim's heart was intact but the PM confirms that a lung was removed from the body and has not been located."

The source added: "This is a horrific incident and one of the most grotesque murders experienced by gardai for quite some time. The investigation is following a definite line of inquiry."

A single man, Mr O'Gorman was the eldest of three children and had lived with his mother Ann at the house before she passed away in 2012. Last year, he rented a room to the suspect.

The house was sealed off yesterday for forensic examination while gardai questioned the suspect in Blanchardstown station.


Mr O'Gorman has been described as a devout Catholic who worked as a researcher for the conservative Catholic lobby group the Iona Institute, where journalist David Quinn is director.

According to the organisation's website, Mr O'Gorman held a BA and MLitt in history from UCD and a diploma in legal studies.

He was a former journalist with 'The Voice Today' and a regular contributor to the 'Irish Catholic' newspaper.

The victim was an opponent of abortion and same-sex marriage who regularly blogged on the subject.

Mr O'Gorman was also a member of the Focolare Movement, an international organisation promoting the ideals of unity and universal brotherhood.

It is understood that the suspect was also a member of the organisation who shared the same conservative Catholic beliefs as his former landlord.

Irish Independent columnist David Quinn said: "On behalf of everyone at The Iona Institute, I would like to express our total shock and deep sorrow at the terrible and untimely death of Tom O'Gorman.

"Tom was a friend as well as a work colleague to us all.

"Tom had been working as a researcher at the Iona Institute since its launch seven years ago.

"Most of us knew him from before then, in some cases all the way back to his days at UCD.

"He was a fond and dear friend and we will all miss him. We extend our deepest commiserations to his family and above all to his sister and brother, Catherine and Paul. May Tom rest in peace.

"I will miss his good company. I'll miss going out to lunch with him most days."

Mr O'Gorman's killing is the fifth violent death in the past seven days.

Irish Independent

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