herald

Tuesday 25 July 2017

Man is beaten, stripped and left to die on street

Gardai forensics at scene on North Street, Swords
Gardai forensics at scene on North Street, Swords
Gardai forensics at scene on North Street, Swords

The victim of a savage beating who died after being found on a Swords street in the early hours of yesterday morning was naked when discovered by a shocked passer-by.

The man, named locally as father-of-three Dermot Byrne (54), was identified by a family member last night and investigators believe he was kicked to death.

Sources say My Byrne received multiple blunt force injuries to the head and body, consistent with a prolonged and sustained assault, and that it was likely the attack happened elsewhere and he was later dumped on the street.

Grave

Mr Byrne's injuries were so grave that whoever carried out the attack may have believed he was already dead when he was dumped.

He did, however, have a faint pulse when emergency crews arrived, but died at the scene despite their best efforts to save him.

The grim discovery was made on a set of steps at Fingal Community College on North Street in the north Dublin town at 3.05am.

Mr Byrne was lying in a darkened area of the street and was possibly out of view of any passing traffic.

A Dublin Fire Brigade fire tender and HSE ambulance from Swords arrived at the scene after the traumatised passer-by dialled 999, and teams of paramedics, including advanced paramedics, worked to save the man's life.

However, he died in the ambulance while being treated.

A post-mortem examination was carried out yesterday to determine the precise cause of death.

Gardai have appealed for witnesses who may have been in or around North Street between 1.30am and 3am yesterday, or for anyone who may have been driving in the area and has dash-cam footage from their vehicle, to come forward to help the investigation.

Local CCTV footage from commercial premises in the Swords area will also be examined and may prove vital in determining the sequence of events leading up to the man's discovery.

Yesterday, gardai were operating traffic diversions in the busy town, as large areas of the street and surrounding areas were cordoned off.

The man's body remained at the scene for a number of hours before being removed.

Shortly before 11.30am, Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster arrived in the town and was escorted to the scene by senior detectives.

Local people stood at the cordon and expressed their shock and sadness at the violent death.

Dreadful

"It's terrible. He is some mother's son. It's dreadful how something like this can happen," said one 60-year-old mother-of-two.

Another shocked local, mum-of-four Bridget Carr (55), echoed those sentiments.

"It's so sad. Swords is a lovely place to live but it's awful how something like this can happen to someone on the streets of this town," she said.

Gardai were interviewing members of the public in the area throughout the morning as part of their investigation into the man's death.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Swords Garda Station on 01 6664700, the Garda Confidential Telephone Line on 1800 666 111 or any garda station.

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