Pals pay tribute to tragic son of socialite couple

By Melanie Finn

Friends of the late Daniel Marshall (25) have paid tribute to the tragic son of socialite Jackie Rafter and hairdresser David Marshall.

They were said to be "devastated" upon learning the grim news about their only son's sudden death.

His body was found in the toilets of the Fitzwilliam Hotel on St Stephen's Green at approximately 4am on Saturday.

Gardai are not treating his death as suspicious but are due to carry out a post mortem.

He had been fighting a lengthy battle with drug addiction issues in the past and was last year charged with selling heroin. He had been previously warned by a judge that he wouldn't live to see 50 unless he 'got his act together.'

His mum Jackie is a former model and socialite who previously worked in the Wright Venue and set up children's charity the Bubblegum Club. His dad is one of the country's top hair stylists.

Those who knew him paid tribute to him as a "hilarious" guy. "He was the funniest person I ever knew. He was great fun. He was just an unbelievable guy. What's happened is so sad. Everyone is still in shock," said one pal.

He had spent years battling personal issues and had speech and language difficulties as well as Attention Deficit Disorder from a young age.

He did courses in car mechanics, sports management, worked in a bookmakers and also worked in his father's top salon in Dublin.

He appeared in court last year accused of assault and selling heroin. The judge directed that a drug treatment place be made available for him after being told he had struggled with heroin addiction for years.

Daniel told a court that he once shoplifted because it was his mum's birthday and he "wanted it to be special."

Marshall had 40 convictions.

A former student of St Michael's in Ballsbridge and Rockwell College in Tipperary, his problems escalated until he began taking heroin from "being bored" at the age of 21.

His court appearances started back in 2009 when he was ordered by Dun Laoghaire District court to pay a donation of €500 after throwing a can of beer at a garda car. Speaking afterwards, his mum Jackie said she was "completely devastated" at what happened.