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Our son is asking 'Where is Daddy?' and I just don't know what to tell him

THE heartbroken girlfriend of Dean Fitzpatrick said that he adored their toddler son and he was a "brilliant dad".

Dean and girlfriend Sarah O'Rourke were together for three-and-a-half years, and are parents to 18-month-old Leon.

Sarah told of how she had to break the news to Dean's mum, Audrey, that her only son was dead.

On the night Dean was found stabbed, Audrey was not at the home she shared with partner Dave Mahon at the Burnell Square apartments in Northern Cross, close to Clarehall. Dean was found fatally injured outside the complex at approximately 11.30pm on Saturday.

"I can't talk about the investigation but I believe he was in Clarehall the night he was stabbed.

"I understand he was stabbed with some sort of weapon like a blade. I rang Audrey and told her. I said, 'Dean's dead'. She didn't even know," Sarah said.

Speaking from her home in Lusk, north Co Dublin, Sarah said: "We are just devastated.

"I loved Dean. He was an absolutely brilliant dad. Leon is the spitting image of him.

"Leon adored Dean. He looked up to him and is already asking 'Where's daddy?' I don't know what to tell him.

"Dean had only turned 23 in March. We are trying to get our heads round this and grieve."

Dean's father Christopher described him as a deeply caring young man.

 

Feelings

Mr Fitzpatrick fought back tears as he tried to speak of the loss of his son just five years after his daughter Amy (15) disappeared.

He said neither he nor Dean were able to express their feelings very well about Amy since her disappearance.

"Dean kept his feelings about Amy locked up most of the time," he said.

Christopher and Dean lived together in Artane in Dublin. Gardai contacted him on Saturday night to inform him that his son had been stabbed.

"The guards got my number from his phone and rang me. I thought at first it was a wind-up," he said from the home of his sister Christine in Donaghmede.

Christopher rushed to Beaumont hospital with Christine. "When I got there, I was told that Dean was in theatre."

Dean died shortly afterwards.

"Dean loved spending time with Leon – he loved him so much," he said.

"And he loved exercise and body-building. He went to Northwood gym three times a day. He'd show me his 'pecs' when he'd get back.

"He also loved cycling and was well fit. His body-building T-shirts helped show all the hard work he was doing in the gym."

Christopher's only remaining child Alex (9) made his First Communion on the same day that Dean was stabbed.

Christopher has precious memories of the times that he spent with Dean and Amy when they were growing up in Clarehall in Dublin.

"I've got happy memories of making visits with Dean and Amy to Newbridge Farm in County Dublin where they'd love to feed the horses. Those were happy times for us."

In 2004, after his marriage to Audrey came to an end, Audrey took Dean and Amy to Spain to live with Dave Mahon.

Four years later, Amy vanished without a trace as she walked home from her friend's house on New Year's Day 2008.

"I've always hoped Amy is still alive. And when they found those three young women in America, I thought of Amy."

 

Memory

Dean moved back to Dublin after Amy's disappearance and went to live with his father.

Christopher has been comforted by his sister Christine since his son's death.

Christine has spent years trying to find out what happened to Amy in Spain.

"We want justice for Dean. And we want justice for Amy," Christine said.

"I was with Dean and Christopher on Friday. Dean had breakfast with us and he was delighted. I have this lovely memory of being with him."

hnews@herald.ie


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