Violent drug dealer a suspect in murder of Tony Dempsey in Dublin city centre flat
21st December 2022
A violent drug dealer has been identified as a suspect for the murder of a man found dead in a flat run by the Peter McVerry Trust.
The body of Tony Dempsey (28) was concealed in the north inner city property for up to a week before being discovered by emergency services on September 12.
Detectives investigating the murder at Kevin Barry House on Coleraine Street believe he died following a violent assault linked to the drugs trade.
The Irish Independent has learned that a volatile criminal from the capital’s inner city has been identified as a suspect for the killing.
The man, aged in his 30s, has also been targeted in a recent garda operation linked to the murder investigation.
However, he was not detained in relation to Mr Dempsey’s murder and no charges have yet been brought as part of that inquiry.
The man is also considered an associate of gang boss Brian Rattigan, who was released from prison last year after serving 18 years in jail.
Rattigan was found guilty of the 2001 murder of Declan Gavin, which sparked the Crumlin-Drimnagh feud, but his conviction was overturned in 2018, and he was later convicted of manslaughter.
The suspect for the Dempsey murder has only recently been released from prison.
He has also been investigated in the past for violent crime including shootings
carried out on behalf of Rattigan.
A source said: “The man being investigated for involvement in the Dempsey murder is known for being a highly aggressive individual who would regularly hand out beatings.
“He is also heavily involved in drug dealing in the city centre and this is being looked at as a motive for the murder.”
Detectives attached to the Bridewell garda station are continuing to investigate the murder.
The killing caused outrage when it was discovered that the body had remained at the property concealed under a pile of clothing for up to a week.
A number of people continued to use the squalid flat as a drugs den for days afterwards while local residents made complaints about anti-social behaviour there.
Dempsey had a troubled life which led to his interaction with crime gangs, homelessness and drug addiction.