‘Please help us catch my dad’s brutal killer’

by Sylvia Pownall

THE family of a man who died in a savage street attack in Swords have pleaded for information to help bring his killer to justice.

Dermot Byrne’s heartbroken daughter, Shawna, said: “My dad was brutally killed in the early hours of Sunday morning.

“Please if anyone has any information please contact the guards.”

Dad-of-three Dermot (left), who ran a bicycle import business in his native Finglas, was beaten, stripped and left for dead in an unprovoked attack.

He was set upon as he walked home from a night out.

On Tuesday, a vigil was held for the popular 54-year-old at the college steps on North Street where he was found.

Tributes have been paid to “absolute gentleman” Dermot, who “wouldn’t hurt a fly”.

Dermot was on his way home when he was attacked. He was found with severe head injuries on the steps of Fingal Community College by a passer-by at 3.05am on Sunday morning.

The brave dad clung to life and still had a faint pulse when paramedics arrived, but he died as they were treating him in the ambulance.

Gardai believe his attacker removed his clothing, which has not been recovered, to avoid leaving traces of their DNA at the scene.

A 29-year-old man who was arrested and quizzed over the assault was later released without charge and a file is being prepared for the DPP.

Tributes paid to Dermot, a director of the family-run Intercontinental Distributors business, describe him as “an easy-going and respectful man”.

An Irish Blackball Association statement said: “Dermot was known to all as a gent. He was one of the nicest and most genuine people anyone could wish to meet. A true gentleman who never had a cross word with any soul … We will miss you, friend.”

Gardai have reviewed CCTV footage and are appealing for witnesses who were in the area between 1.30am and 3am on Sunday to come forward.

Crowds gathered for Tuesday’s vigil to show support for Dermot’s grieving wife Geraldine and his three daughters, Shawna, Rebecca and Emma.

Shawna said: “I can’t even begin to describe the pain and devastation that has hit our family. And I just want to say thank you so much to everyone for all your kind messages and your help at this tragic time.”

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