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Mark Burke's remains were found in a recycling plant

Mark Burke's remains were found in a recycling plant

Mark Burke

Mark Burke

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Mark Burke's remains were found in a recycling plant

The Dublin man whose body parts were found in a recycling plant in the west of the city in July was homeless and may have been sleeping in a skip.

Mark Burke, who was 37 years old, was finally identified last week.

He was last seen staying in a shelter for the homeless in Dun Laoghaire but gardai said he was an infrequent resident and his disappearance was not noticed at the time.

Gardai at first believed they were dealing with a murder and at one stage thought the body parts found in the Thorntons recycling plant may have belonged to a person of eastern European origin.

However, it is now believed Mr Burke, who was single and originally from Sandyford, in south County Dublin, may have been sleeping rough at the time he disappeared.

There are Thorntons recycling skips behind business premises in an alleyway directly opposite Bentley House, on George's Street in Dun Laoghaire, where Mr Burke was an occasional resident.

It is suspected Mr Burke may have been sleeping rough in one of these bins.

It is believed his body may have become entangled in the mechanism of the skip collection lorry. The injuries to his body led gardai to launch an investigation on the basis that the victim may have been murdered.

Local gardai knew Mr Burke and described him as a "harmless, decent" person who had developed an alcohol dependency.

Officially, the investigation has been conducted as a murder case but this may now be downgraded to a suspicious or accidental death inquiry.

Mr Burke's body was eventually identified through extensive DNA testing.

Gardai had issued a public appeal for information after a lower leg and foot were first found by workers at Thorntons waste facility, in Ballyfermot, on July 31.

Part of an upper leg was found the following day.

Gardai later searched thousands of tonnes of waste and further remains were discovered.

The parts were removed to Tallaght Hospital for examination, where DNA tests confirmed that the body parts were male and came from the same person. Mr Burke was only reported missing recently.

Gardai are appealing to anyone with information to contact them.

Sunday Independent