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New inquest into 1973 Satanic killing of boy (7)

AN inquest has been held into the death of boy (7), it's claimed was killed by his teenage satanic neighbour in Dublin almost 40 years ago.

An brief inquest into John's murder was held at the County Coroner's court yesterday where his death certificate was issued, four decades after his killing.

The inquest detailed the brutal murder of the young boy who was found tied to rafters in the attic of a neighbour's house surrounded by religious objects.

John was found in a house adjacent to his family's home at Hollyville, Lucan Road, Palmerstown in Dublin on June 14, 1973.

The untold details of the horrific murder of John Horgan are set to shock the nation when they emerge later this year.

A book entitled The Boy In The Attic, by David Malone, due is to shed further light on the grim tragedy, it's author says.

"Ireland 1973, a very different world. But the tiny village of Palmerstown was about to lose its innocence forever," the author writes on his website.

"On a bright sunny June afternoon, a seven-year-old only child was left in the care of a teenage neighbour.

"No one knew, or would even have dreamed of suspecting, that the older boy was a Satanist.

"The two went out to the fields to look for rabbits. The seven-year-old was never seen alive again."

The mysterious murder of young John -- who was missing for eight hours before his body was discovered -- still has the power to disturb four decades later.

A silver cup and three hosts were discovered with his body, and then State Pathologist Dr Maurice Hickey found he had died from a fracture of the skull.

County Coroner Kieran Geraghty took the step to briefly open an inquest and recount the details of the tragedy after his office was notified that a death certificate had never been issued.


It is a legal requirement that every death is recorded and registered with the State.

The Irish Independent dating from September 14, 1973 reported that a 16-and-a-half year old Palmerstown boy attended Dunshaughlin District Court where he was kept in custody and returned for trial at the Central Criminal Court for the murder of John.

At the brief inquest yesterday, Detective Inspector Richard McDonnell said a male was later charged with the crime and served a sentence.

Det Insp McDonnell, from Lucan Garda Station, contacted the Horgan family after he was asked in February of this year to prepare an inquest file for the issuing of the death certificate.

"I contacted the family of John Horgan who indicated they did not wish to revisit a very traumatic period in their lives and reopen old wounds," the detective said yesterday. "However, the memory of their son is always with them."

The Horgan family was not present at the brief inquest.

The coroner revealed that the perpetrator was now living out Ireland and said it would be inappropriate to call a full inquest without the consent of the family.


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