Murder victim Tony Dempsey is a classic example of someone who fell through the cracks of society.
People familiar with the tragic 28-year-old say that he never stood a chance due to the chaotic upbringing he faced in Dublin's inner city.
He had been in and out of foster homes since he was a young boy. He also spent time as a juvenile in a number of different institutions – being placed in care 10 times.
But that is not to say that he was not was loved by many.
No one deserves to suffer such a terrible end to their life – Tony’s decomposing body was left near a bed and covered in blankets as drug addicts continued to party only a few feet away.
Not only did he suffer horrific fatal head injuries, it happened in a flat that has been described as “a place of absolute horror” by a person who had the misfortune of being in it this week.
Tony is fondly remembered by his family and friends, and he had to endure some terrible recent tragedies within his family unit.
No one knows what his frame of mind was when he was savagely attacked in the grim north-inner-city drugs den where he lost his life.
But what is known is that even as a juvenile teenager Tony got sucked into a life of drugs, crime, violence and then jail, which also led to him being homeless at stages of his tragic life.
The murder victim was a feature of garda intelligence bulletins before he was even old enough to vote.
Tony was among the dozens of youths lured into senseless gangland feuding in the capital’s south inner city a decade ago, much of it fuelled by convicted killers ‘Fat’ Freddie Thompson and his arch-rival Brian Rattigan in the so-called Crumlin/Drimnagh feud.
But in reality, much of the violence in this dispute happened in areas such as Inchicore, where Tony grew up.
Almost nine years ago, he appeared before Dublin District Court where he admitted having control of a petrol bomb and components in a south-inner-city Dublin flat complex.
Barely old enough to face court as an adult, he was jailed for nine months after he decided not to contest the case in the Circuit Court which has wider sentencing powers.
There was an incident at the Basin Street flats in Inchicore on October 24, 2012 – in which a Dublin couple were shot at while making a fast-food delivery – and as a result, gardaí searched the flats complex.
A petrol bomb and components were found by gardaí in a bedroom in one of the flats on October 25.
Gardaí said Tony was seen running from the area. He was later arrested and admitted that the explosives were under his control.
He continued to be involved in gangland violence and drug dealing in the years after that, while also feeding a relentless drug habit.
In July 2013, he was involved in a shocking incident in which a man was viciously stabbed.
The victim was beaten and the perpetrators even used the man’s own crutch to attack him. He was also knifed in the back twice.
Gardaí were called to the scene. They followed a trail of blood that stretched from the ambulance where the victim was treated to where he was assaulted in the Basin Street flat complex.
The victim was hospitalised for his injuries. He was reluctant to make a statement to gardaí, only confirming that he had been attacked.
Tony was jailed for two years for this offence and was given another two years for possessing stolen property, including an axe, on August 7, 2013.
He was spotted hiding under a hedge at Wainsfort Manor Crescent, Terenure, Co Dublin, and was holding an axe which he had stolen from a nearby house.
Tony was also carrying stolen house and car keys and other items he thieved from the house including a screwdriver and silver necklace.
He was arrested and admitted the offences.
Court records show that Tony Dempsey had more than 50 criminal convictions including 22 for road-traffic offences, and others for theft, drugs, criminal damage and possession of knives and firearms.
But no one deserves what happened to him.
Ultimately his involvement in drugs cost him his life as sources said today that gardaí believe his murder was drugs-related.