Thursday 22 February 2018

Suspect arrested in Phoenix Park murder investigation

Murder scene investigators in Dublin's Phoenix Park where a man was found on fire after he was beaten
Murder scene investigators in Dublin's Phoenix Park where a man was found on fire after he was beaten

A 27-year-old has been arrested by gardai investigating the murder of a man who was burnt alive in the Phoenix Park.

The suspect is being held at Finglas Garda Station under the provisions of section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act and can be questioned withour release for 24 hours.

Detectives are still trying to identify a man who was beaten before being burnt alive.

A murder inquiry was launched when a post-mortem examination revealed that the victim was still alive, but probably unconscious, when the blaze started.

The man was found on fire in a sleeping bag in the early hours of Friday morning near the Wellington monument in Phoenix Park, Dublin.

Investigators are sifting through the names of several people put forward by members of the public in an effort to find out who the man was. His remains are burnt beyond recognition and DNA and dental records will have to be used to identify him.

An accelerant may have been used to start the fire.

While the man may have been homeless, the autopsy suggests he had not been sleeping rough for a long time, gardai said.

Tests also found no evidence of alcohol or drug abuse.

Forensic officers are still searching the area, known as a place where homeless people congregate.

A Garda patrol car passing through Phoenix Park made the grim discovery when they saw a fireball in a wooded area metres off Chesterfield Avenue, at the junction with Wellington Road, just before 1.30am.

Witnesses have since told officers they saw the blaze about a half an hour earlier, believing it was a campfire.

Detectives in Cabra have appealed for witnesses or anyone with information in the area to come forward.

They have also urged anyone who has not had contact with any homeless friends or family members in recent days to come forward.

Press Association

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