Monday 24 October 2016

'Help me find out how my son ended up dead in a recycling plant', pleads dad

Mark Burke
Thorntons recycling plant

The family of a man whose chopped-up body parts were found in a recycling plant last August have appealed for help in finding out how he ended up there.

Mark Burke (37), from the Sandyford area, was a homeless alcoholic sleeping rough.

He was last seen leaving Dun Laoghaire District Court on July 28, 2014, some time after 2pm after he was bailed for evading a fare on the Luas.

Two days later, body pieces including part of a leg and skull were found in the Thorntons plant on the Killeen Road by a shocked worker.

It was not until last November that a positive identification was made.

Mark Burke

Now Mr Burke's father, Noel, and his family are appealing to the public to help find out where he was for the two days between last being seen leaving the court and when his remains were discovered.

Gardai released information at the time that they believed he was murdered and his body dismembered. They say the investigation is continuing.

"Mark has a partner and seven beautiful children that are heartbroken," said his father.

"He wasn't involved in any-thing, and the gardai know this. He never ever took a drug in his life.

"Mark was homeless for six or seven years. He walked out. His partner, Tina, didn't put him out, but he was hard to live with because of his alcohol problems."

He added that his son would sometimes stay in Bentley House, a hostel in Dun Laoghaire.

On other occasions he would sleep in his sister's house or Tina's place.

"He'd be mostly in Dun Laoghaire or Dundrum," said his father, who added that it was not unusual for him to go missing for weeks on end.

However, he said he got a bad feeling when he was watching RTE's CrimeCall programme one night at around the time the body parts were found.

"It mentioned the remains of a man between five-foot-eight and six-foot who had previous surgery on his head. Everything fitted Mark, but then they said the person might be foreign and that put us off the scent," said Mr Burke, speaking to Sean O'Rourke on RTE radio.

"As the weeks went by we started to get worried that we hadn't seen Mark. I went down to the gardai and reported him missing because we were all worried.

"I asked them to check the remains from Thorntons, that it sounded like Mark.

"They took a swab from his mother and it came back as a match.


"Where was Mark from July 28 to 31, those two days? He was literally cut up into pieces. Why would anyone want to do that to any other human being?

"Mark couldn't defend himself. He was attacked six years ago and robbed of €40 and he had surgery in Beaumont Hospital. I'm wondering if it was another robbery and they went too far. I don't know. We think it happened around Dun Laoghaire."

A reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Mr Burke's killers.

The garda confidential line is 1800 666111

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