Dmitry Hrynkevich (24), who grew up in Killarney, was the victim of a serious assault outside his home in Killeen Woods, in Tralee, shortly after 10pm on Wednesday.
The 7ft 6in Belarusian – who was before the courts on charges of theft and serious assault – was placed on life support at Tralee General Hospital, but passed away on Friday.
Two Eastern Europeans were arrested in the vicinity of the house a short time after Hrynkevich was discovered. One of the men was released without charge, while a file is being prepared for the DPP in relation to the second man.
The men – a Polish and Lithuanian national in their 20s and 30s respectively – are also known to Gardaí. One of the pair is regarded as a serious criminal who has been responsible for a number of thefts and violent assaults in the town.
Gardai are trying to establish whether a drunken row led to his death. It is understood Mr Hrynkevich suffered horrific head injuries consistent with a brutal and prolonged attack.
Hrynkevich moved to Killarney with members of his family while in his teens. He attended secondary school at the famous St Brendan’s College, Killarney, before moving to Tralee.
A source yesterday described Hrynkevich as having been well known to Gardaí.
“He was involved in a very serious assault in which a man received extreme lacerations about four years ago,” a source told the Sunday World.
“He was charged and the case was forwarded to the Circuit Court for trial. However, the injured party subsequently left Tralee and efforts were being made to contact him in advance of the trial.
“The difficulty in relation to the current investigation lies in the fact there may have been an underlying medical condition that could have contributed to his death.”
Hrynkevich was registered as homeless, but had been placed in sheltered accommodation in Killeen Woods in the town.
Gardai said yesterday that investigations are ongoing and appealed for witnesses.
Detectives believe a number of people were in the property in question on Wednesday evening and have appealed to them to contact gardai in Tralee, even if they had left before the incident occurred.
Patrick O'Connell & Shuki Byrne