Tuesday 23 October 2018

'Everyday you're looking at people, asking was it him' - family of murdered dad plead for information

Mark Burke's remains were found in a recycling plant
Mark Burke's remains were found in a recycling plant
Mark Burke
Appeal: Noel and Mark Burke, father and son of murder victim Mark Burke. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Conor McCrave

The father of a man murdered in 2014 has made a plea for anyone with information to come forward on the fourth anniversary of his son’s death.

The remains of Mark Burke’s dismembered body were found at Thornton’s Recycling in Ballyfermot in Dublin on July 31st, 2014, three days after he was last seen in Dun Laoighaire.

Four years later, the young man’s father Noel Burke continues to search for answers as Gardaí have yet to make an arrest in the case.

Gardaí have followed over 600 lines of inquiry but there has been no new developments.

“Disheartening is not the word. The hurt will never leave us, he had seven children and the hurt will never leave them,” he told Independent.ie

“It wouldn’t have taken much to kill him. He was getting regular beatings. His dole was being taken off him and he was in and out of hospital regularly from it,” says Mr Burke.

Mark Burke
Mark Burke

When the remains were discovered at the recycling plant parts of Mark’s body including his hands and organs were missing and have never been found. 

As a result, it took four months before DNA testing would correctly identify they were those of the 36-year-old.

“In Mark’s remains we didn’t get back the things that would recognise him like his hands and his teeth, they were all gone, his organs were all gone. How could one person do all that?

“We’re trying to do our own investigation to this day. I think he was attacked in Dun Laoighaire. I don’t believe one person done it one their own. There has to have been more than one person," he said.

Appeal: Noel and Mark Burke, father and son of murder victim Mark Burke. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Appeal: Noel and Mark Burke, father and son of murder victim Mark Burke. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Mark was sleeping rough as he battled with an alcohol addiction when he was murdered, but was always contactable by family members, according to Mr Burke.

“It wouldn’t be unusual for Mark to go missing for weeks on end but he would always turn up eventually,” he said.

“If we needed to get him we would know where to get him. But weeks went by and we started getting worried and started searching for him. Seven weeks later I reported him missing.”

As the investigation remains open into his death, Mr Burke hopes that someone who might have known the attacker might be willing to come forward with information.

“They might have been friends for years but might not be friends anymore. They might have fallen out and I hope they will have the courage to either contact Gardaí or contact the family directly,” he said.

The family have spent four years tormented in their search for answers according to Mr Burke.

“His mother is just heartbroken. You can’t explain everyday you’re looking at people asking was it him or is it him.

“I remember him being young and funny and witty. I miss him so much.

“I know there is somebody out there who knows something. We’ll keep on going and we’ll never ever lose hope,” he added.

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