Sunday 18 February 2018

Tributes pour in for socialite's tragic son found dead in hotel

Jackie Rafter and her son Daniel
Jackie Rafter and her son Daniel
David Marshall
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

TRIBUTES poured in following the tragic death of the son of socialite Jackie Rafter and hairdresser David Marshall.

Daniel Marshall's body was found in the toilets of the Fitzwilliam Hotel in Dublin at 4am on Saturday.

Gardai are not treating his death as suspicious but a post-mortem is due to be carried out.

The 25-year-old had been fighting a lengthy battle with drug addiction.

Last year he was charged with selling heroin. He had been previously warned by a judge that he wouldn't live to see 50 unless he "got his act together".

Jackie Rafter is a former model and socialite who previously worked in the Wright Venue in Swords, Dublin and set up children's charity the Bubblegum Club. David Marshall is one of the country's best-known hair stylists.

Friends paid tribute to their son describing him as a "hilarious" guy and said that news of his death still hadn't sunk in.

"He was the funniest person I ever knew. He was great fun. He was just an unbelievable guy. What's happened is so sad. Everyone is still in shock," said one friend.

“RIP Danny only 25 yrs .......GBNF (gone but not forgotten) .....13-7-14,” one friend wrote on Facebook.

“Pleasure knowing you Dan¬ny R.I.P god takes the best,” another said.

He spent years battling personal issues and had speech-and-language difficulties as well as Attention Deficit Disorder from a young age. He appeared in court last year, accused of assault and selling heroin.

The judge directed that a drug treatment place be made available for him, after being told he had struggled with heroin addiction for three years.

He had been seeking help for his problems and was trying to rehabilitate himself, the court heard. He had 40 previous convictions, mostly for theft and public order offences, but also for assault and criminal damage.


A former student of St Michael's in Ballsbridge and Rockwell College in Tipperary, his court appearances started in 2009 when he was ordered by Dun Laoghaire District Court to pay a donation of €500 after throwing a can of beer at a garda car.

Speaking afterwards, his mother said she was "completely devastated" at what happened and that he had been going through some personal issues.

Irish Independent

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