NewsCrime Desk

Horrific tools used to torture and burn homeless man

A bolt end cutter used to torture the victim
A bolt end cutter used to torture the victim

DOUBLE-KILLER Ciaran Moran – the thug who clubbed an innocent homeless man to death with a lump hammer before setting him on fire in the Phoenix Park – has been boasting of his horrific crimes behind bars by showing off images of his victim’s mutilated remains.

A former inmate who shared a landing in the Midlands Prison with Moran (29), today reveals how the vile killer has also warned: “Even if I’m in here [prison] for 25 years, I’ll get the bastards who ratted me out when I get out.”

Ciaran Moran

Innocent Gerard Donnelly (36), was clubbed to death and then set on fire by Moran in an attack which was witnessed by two homeless teenagers just several hundred yards from Garda Headquarters in the Phoenix Park, in the early hours of November 29, 2013.

Sick killer Moran – who beat another ‘pal’ Keith Flanagan to death just seven weeks before the Phoenix park killing – was sentenced to life in prison for innocent Donnelly’s murder in May.

Gerard Donnelly

Today the Sunday World can reveal the true horror of the homeless man’s final moments – based on the book of evidence used to convict Moran – and how:

  • The killer originally intended on torturing Donnelly before killing him because he believed the homeless man had buried €23,000 in the Phoenix Park.
  • He planned the cold-blooded murder days in advance by purchasing a ‘kill-kit’ that included a lump hammer, pliers, a blow torch and white spirits.
  • He took €15,000 in cash from Donnelly’s battered body, from which he paid a 17-year-old girl and 19-year-old homeless boy who witnessed the horrific slaughter €500 each to keep quiet.
  • He used the pliers to chop off the little toe from his victim’s left foot, which he said he needed to prove to “a third party” who he claimed ordered him to carry out the killing.
  • He later warned the 17-year-old girl who witnessed the killing that she would get “the exact same thing” if she opened her mouth.
  • He claimed he had been put up to carrying out the murder by a German couple who slept near Donnelly in the park and knew he carried large sums of money.

A former inmate who shared a landing with Moran in the Midlands Prison this week told the Sunday World: “He’s showing people the pictures from the book of evidence he got during the trial because he wants other inmates to be afraid of him. He is a mad yolk and he doesn’t take any messing from anyone.

Our man with his contact

“He’s convinced a German couple were the ones that ratted him out to the Gardaí – and he hates rats.

“He says when he gets out, even if it’s going to take 25 years, he’s going to find them and kick them to death.”

Pictures obtained by the Sunday World from the book of evidence given to Moran to prepare for his trial show the weapons he used to carry out the horrific slaying.

He purchased a Bolton End cutter, two pairs of Nitrile gloves, a 2.5lb fibreglass lump hammer, a 750ml bottle of white spirits, cable ties and a Parasene blow torch on November 21, 2013 – exactly one week before the murder.

After purchasing the ‘kill kit’ Moran told another homeless man he was going to use it to “batter and torture him [Gerard]” because he “was always carrying money around with him”.

On the night of November 28, 2013 evil Moran went to the Phoenix Park carrying the weapons.

The 17-year-old girl who witnessed the slaying told investigators that she and her 19-year-old boyfriend had gone up to the park with Moran that night.

Describing the killing, she said: “He got a hammer and started hitting him on the head, there was blood everywhere. He took pictures on his phone of the man, dead.

The sport where Gerard Donnelly's body was set on fire

“After he finished with the hammer he got a bottle of f**king spirit, throwing it over him and set him on fire.

“He took 15 grand on Gerry; he took most of his sleeping bags and set them on fire.”

Asked whether Gerard was asleep or awake when the attack took place, the girl told investigators he was awake.

“He [Gerard] said ‘hello Ciaran’. Ciaran called him a rat and started hitting on the head with a hammer – Gerry was lying there on the ground, not even screaming…


Parasene blow torch

“He screamed with the first hit of the hammer then a kind of ‘luh’ sound, then nothing.

“I started screaming at Ciaran and I tried to go over and he pushed me back.”

Parasene blow torch

Asked how many times Ciaran hit Gerry, the woman replied: “More than 10, more than 15.”

She added that Ciaran “had a real evil look on his face”.

Speaking about the €15,000 in cash Gerard had on him from rental income on two properties he owned, the teenage girl said: “Gerry had it on him I think, in an envelope, old 50s, at least €15 grand.

“He [Ciaran] took it out in front of us and started laughing. He cut off his toe and said we had to keep it.

“I don’t know what he cut it off with, all I seen in his hand was a hammer.”

2.5lb lump hammer used in the vicious beating

“He took pictures of the dead body before he set it on fire, about three pictures.”

The day after the killing the girl told her adopted sister – who was involved with Moran – what had occurred.

The teenager revealed that her sister said: “There was €23,000 he said was supposed to be buried. He didn’t get the €23,000, only the €15,000.

“Ciaran showed me the pictures on his phone. I asked what it was. He said it was the dead man’s face. All I saw was red blood around something, while I couldn’t see the face.

“Ciaran said it was the foreigners that wanted him to kill your man and take the money. It was them Ciaran said knew about the money.”

At a hearing in May, where Moran was sentenced to life for the gruesome killing, it emerged he had sent a letter from his prison cell in January during which he confessed to the killing and claimed he alone had been involved.

He was sentenced to life.