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Murdered homeless man 'had £103,000' in building society account

Aerial view of Phoenix Park Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption Gerard Donnelly died from his injuries at the Phoenix Park in November 2013

A murder trial in Dublin has heard that a homeless man who was allegedly beaten to death with a hammer had a building society account with £103,000 pounds (€140,000).

Gerard Donnelly was a homeless man living in Dublin's Phoenix Park.

His body was found on fire in the park in the early hours of 29 November 2013.

Ciaran Moran, 29, of Camden Hall, Camden Street in the city, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mr Donnelly.

Opening the case for the prosecution, senior counsel said there would be disturbing evidence.

Mr Donnelly died from catastrophic head injuries caused by a blunt instrument and was pronounced dead at the scene.

An aerosol can was found on his body.

The jury heard a number of items were found at the scene including a lump hammer, a metal pincer tool and a propane canister with a blow torch attached.

"Considerable funds"

The court was told both Mr Donnelly and Mr Moran were homeless. Mr Donnelly was living in a hostel.

The court heard there would also be evidence from CCTV and civilian witnesses that the accused had been in possession of a number of items.

They include a gas canister, a hammer and other items consistent with those found at the scene.

The jury would also hear evidence that prior to the death, the accused man was aware that Mr Donnelly was a man of "considerable funds".

The court was told a member of the police had come across Mr Donnelly a month before his death and found he had £6,200 (€8,500) in cash and a deposit book showing £103,000 (€140,000).

Prosecution counsel said the jury would also hear that the accused man made certain significant admissions in relation to Mr Donnelly's death.

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