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Murder victim paid €360k cash for two houses

A FORMER truck driver who was allegedly beaten and burned alive while sleeping rough paid €360,000 in cash for two houses less than a year before his death.

Father-of-one Gerard Donnelly (36) bought the two properties in Lucan, west Dublin, last year, paying €180,000 cash for each house on Caislean Riada Avenue and Cannonbrook Court, according to documents.

He bought the house on Caislean Riada Avenue last April and purchased the house on Cannonbrooke Court almost a year earlier on May 1, 2012.

Mr Donnelly, who is originally from Tallaght, had no outstanding mortgage on either property and it is understood that he rented out both properties while he chose to sleep rough in Dublin's Phoenix Park as a "lifestyle choice".

Mr Donnelly's charred remains were discovered in a sleeping bag on Wellington Road in the Phoenix Park on November 29. It's understood that he had been sleeping rough in the park for a while but he was not considered to be homeless for a long time.


Gardai found that he had €150,000 in a bank account at the time he was killed.

A Dublin man has since been charged with his murder.

Ciaran Moran (27), with an address at Camden Hall, Camden Street, was charged with Mr Donnelly's murder at the Dublin District Court last week. He was remanded in custody and is due to appear at the Cloverhill District Court on tomorrow.

Mr Donnelly grew up at the Tree Park Drive estate in Tallaght, Dublin where he previously lived with his mother as an only child.

His father died when he was a teenager and he sold the family home around eight years ago before his elderly mother went into hospital.

It's understood that Mr Donnelly fathered a child with a woman he had a previous relationship with who lives in northern England.

A former friend of Mr Donnelly, Mark Beatley, said that Mr Donnelly was always a very private person who all but vanished several years ago.

"He became a bit of a loner, but he was always very private. When we were at school his father died but it was about three weeks before any of us knew," he said.