Gardai set to charge four more after psycho double killer admits Park murder
Gardai hope to press charges against four other people in relation to the gruesome murder of a 36-year-old homeless man whose body was found in the Phoenix Park after a psycho killer admitted the crime.
Ciaran Moran (29) changed his plea to guilty yesterday before a jury could hear details of a sick letter he wrote describing how he killed Gerard Donnelly at an unknown time during November 28 or 29, 2013.
Mr Donnelly had almost €150,000 in funds only weeks before gardai found his body on fire in the Phoenix Park. The dad-of-one died of blunt force trauma to the head before his body was set alight and his little toe amputated.
Senior sources stressed last night that the investigation into the murder is "very active".
Officers hope to press charges against a couple who were with Moran when he tortured and then killed Mr Donnelly.
This young couple have been previously arrested by detectives, but were released without charge.
Gardai also plan to secure a European Arrest Warrant for a foreign couple who it is suspected "put Moran up to" murdering Mr Donnelly and who the twisted killer sent a photo of his victim's little toe via mobile phone after he had cut it off.
Detectives have previously travelled to continental Europe to interview this couple who had also been sleeping rough in the park.
Moran, who was also homeless at the time of the murder, is originally from Shankill and has a long and gruesome history of violence.
The sick killer, who spent much of the trial smiling and laughing, was jailed for five years in February for the manslaughter of his pal Keith Flanagan (34) at St Patrick's Quay in Cork on October 3, 2013, only seven weeks before he murdered Mr Donnelly.
Moran snapped and killed his friend who died from internal head injuries after they missed the train home to Dublin from Cork after a day's drinking, during which they visited 24 different pubs.
By the time Moran had been charged last September with killing Mr Flanagan, he had already been in custody for almost 10 months after being charged with the murder of Mr Donnelly.
The Herald can reveal that Moran has been far from a model prisoner while on remand in Cloverhill Prison and is being investigated by gardai for a horrific knife attack on an inmate from Crumlin whose face was sliced open in jail.
Moran is also being investigated for his bizarre involvement in a Traveller riot in Co Westmeath in 2013 as well as a number of other serious assaults in the capital.
The trial heard that gardai investigating a blaze near the Wellington Monument in the early hours of November 29 found Mr Donnelly's body on fire, with an aerosol can in his crotch area.
A canister with a blowtorch attached was also found at the scene.
Sources say gardai believe Moran stole a sum of between €8,000 and €15,000 from Mr Donnelly who was originally from Tallaght.
The victim worked as a truck driver for several companies and had spent a number of years working in the UK before deciding to live a homeless lifestyle.
Evidence was given in the trial that Moran bought new clothes, expensive headphones and a €600 bicycle the following day.