THE grieving mother of Dean Fitzpatrick only discovered her son had died the morning after he was fatally stabbed.
Dean's girlfriend Sarah O'Rourke rang Audrey Fitzpatrick the following morning believing she knew that her only son had been killed.
On Saturday night Audrey (42) had been caring for her elderly father and was not at the apartment she shared with partner Dave Mahon at the Burnell Square apartment complex in Northern Cross.
A fatally wounded Dean was discovered lying on a footpath at 11.20pm on Saturday, having been stabbed with a 12-inch blade.
He was rushed to Beaumont Hospital where he subsequently died, but Audrey remained unaware as to what had occurred.
It was 10.15am the following day when she heard the news.
"It was my turn to mind my father in his home on Saturday night. Sarah rang and thought I knew what happened. I asked her what she was talking about. She said: 'Dean died last night.'
"I still could do nothing. I couldn't leave my father on his own. I had to stay another hour with him but all my family came to me," she said.
She said her family had heard reports on Sunday morning about a man being fatally stabbed in Dublin but had no idea it was Dean.
"To me, Dean wasn't 'a man', he was my child. Dean was all I had left," she said.
Audrey's partner Dave Mahon was arrested by gardai investigating Dean's murder.
He presented himself at Coolock Garda Station early on Sunday afternoon.
He was arrested and held for 24 hours before his release without charge yesterday afternoon. A file has been sent to the DPP.
When asked about her partner's arrest, Audrey said: "I'm totally in the dark about what happened. I haven't a clue."
Distraught Audrey said the only thing she could wish for was that her son and missing daughter Amy would somehow come back into her life.
"The only comfort I would ever get is if Dean and Amy would come walking in through my door," she said.
Audrey paid tribute to her son, describing him as a loving father. "Dean had that certain way about him; he was a loveable rogue. He was just so gorgeous," she sighed.
Dean had his son Leon's name tattooed on his body.
Audrey said her son "absolutely loved" the baby boy he had with girlfriend Sarah 18 months ago. Dean also loved Sarah's daughter Sophie, she said.
Grief has hit Audrey many times since Amy (15) vanished without a trace close to her home in Spain on New Year's Day, 2008.
In November 2009, Audrey's niece Beverley O'Sullivan (28), a singer who released a fundraising CD for the search for her cousin Amy, was killed in a car crash in India.
A few months ago, Audrey's mother Maura Donohoe passed away.
"I now think of Dean and Amy and Mam and Beverley being all together," Audrey said.
"I don't have my Mam to go to now. But I think of Mam looking after Dean and Amy.
"She's much more than just their guardian angel. She's tougher than that. She's their guard dog," said Audrey.
Audrey Fitzpatrick has yet to see her son's body.
"They won't let me see him.It's all under investigation," she said.