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Monday 24 June 2019

Gardaí in murder probe as 7ft6in 'Russian giant' beaten to death

Dmitry Hrynkevich, who was found with serious head injuries at a house at Killeen Woods in Tralee last week
Dmitry Hrynkevich, who was found with serious head injuries at a house at Killeen Woods in Tralee last week
The house at Killeen Woods in Tralee where Dmitry Hrynkevich was found with serious head injuries

Ralph Riegel

Gardaí believe a giant Russian man was fatally attacked in a drunken row at a party because of his height and nationality.

Officers in Co Kerry launched a murder investigation into the death of Dmitry Hrynkevich (24), the third tallest man in Ireland standing at 7ft6in (2.32m), after an attack at Killeen Wood, Tralee, on Wednesday, September 30. Mr Hrynkevich was found lying on the front lawn of a property in the estate shortly after 10.30pm with serious head injuries. He was rushed to Kerry General Hospital.

The young man was placed on a life-support machine but, despite the desperate efforts of surgeons, he never regained consciousness. He died on Friday evening with his heartbroken family by his bedside.

Supt Jim O'Connor described the incident as "very serious" given the injuries involved.

"This is a very serious matter and we appealing for help from the public," he said.

For operational reasons, gardaí have declined to release the results of the post-mortem examination conducted at Kerry General Hospital by the State Pathologist's Office.

But it is understood Mr Hrynkevich suffered horrific head injuries. They were consistent with a brutal and prolonged attack. Mr Hrynkevich is understood to have attended the Killeen Wood property together with a number of others for a social gathering.

The young man was well known in Tralee and Killarney for his height, standing 7ft6in (2.32m). He was born in Russia but grew up in Killarney, having addresses at both Aghadoe and Bishop's Court.

The young man had been targeted in the past as from his early teens, he stood over six foot tall.

Killarney friends described him as a very gentle man who was very conscious of his height.

Two men were arrested by gardaí in the vicinity of Killeen Woods on Wednesday evening and detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

Both were questioned at Tralee Garda Station before being released without charge on Friday.

The duo, in their late 20s and early 30s, are both east European nationals though neither is Russian. They both have addresses in the Kerry area.

A file will now be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Gardaí sealed off the semi-detached house which is located in a quiet cul-de-sac immediately after Mr Hrynkevich was found unconscious on the front lawn.

Officers undertook door-to-door inquiries as well as conducting a detailed forensic examination of the scene.

Investigating gardaí are appealing for witnesses, or anyone who could provide background information, to come forward.

They are particularly appealing to anyone who was in the vicinity of Killeen Woods at the time of the incident to contact them. Gardaí also want to clarify Mr Hrynkevich's precise movements on Wednesday and who was in his company that evening.

Detectives believe a number of people were in the property involved on Wednesday and appealed to them to contact Tralee gardaí even if they had left the house before the incident occurred.

Gardaí believe the incident in which Mr Hrynkevich sustained his fatal injuries began inside the property before spiralling outside.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Tralee Garda Station 066-7102300 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111.

Locals admitted they were shocked to learn that the injured man had died. One local man said he was aware that a party was taking place in the property at the rear of the cul-de-sac.

He later noticed the presence of a large number of uniformed gardaí.

"That was the first I heard someone had been hurt. It is very sad," he said.

Irish Independent

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