A MIDDLE-aged Englishman whose body, tied hand and foot, was recovered from a west Cork river died from a savage beating.
The Herald can reveal that John 'Johnny English' Forrister (43) was killed on Saturday evening -- and his body may have been in the River Bandon for three days before it was discovered yesterday.
Mr Forrister, from Blackpool in Lancashire, was discovered at 11.30am yesterday 1km downstream of the west Cork town by a joint Garda-Civil Defence search team.
His feet and hands were bound and he had been partially wrapped in a rug.
Gardai are today set to launch a murder probe -- after it emerged Mr Forrister had sustained horrific head and neck injuries in a violent and prolonged assault. He was last seen on Saturday afternoon.
The discovery came just 36 hours after the body of Jonathan Duke (27) was recovered by gardai from underneath Bandon bridge -- 1km upstream.
Mr Duke's body had snagged on wooden debris under the bridge. A post mortem revealed he met a violent death.
Mr Duke lived in a second-floor flat at Bridge House while Mr Forrister had a ground floor apartment.
Pastor Bryan Synnott of West Cork Community Church said Mr Forrister was a well-liked character.
Members of the prayer group only learned of Mr Forrister's death at a Gospel meeting at 7pm last night.
"We knew John. He came in and out of the church. He was a very pleasant man -- a gentleman," Pastor Synnott said.
"His life wasn't easy. He did have a drink problem -- that was very obvious to all of us. He was very artistic. He loved to draw and paint and loved to fix things. If he had a chance in life, he could have been an engineer," he added.
Garda technical experts yesterday conducted a major investigation at the ageing three-storey apartment complex where Mr Forrister lived.
Garda divers also conducted an intensive trawl of the river near the apartment complex to determine if evidence -- including a possible weapon -- had been thrown into the water.
The search resumed today.