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Behind bars Philip Dunbar sentenced to life for 'gruesome' murder of homeless man Adam Muldoon


Adam Muldoon

Adam Muldoon

Adam Muldoon

The man who stabbed Adam Muldoon, a homeless man with cerebral palsy, 183 times has shown no remorse for the "gruesome" killing, the deceased man's sister said today.

Philip Dunbar (20) was today sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of 23-year-old Adam 'Floater' Muldoon at Butler Park, Jobstown Park, Tallaght on June 22 or 23, 2018.

Dunbar stabbed Mr Muldoon 183 times with a fold-up knife and then went to a friend's house where he boasted that he had "slaughtered Floater" and "put him out of his misery" as he "begged for his life". He was found guilty of murder by a unanimous jury verdict at the Central Criminal Court earlier this week.

Mr Muldoon's younger sister Katie Muldoon delivered a passionate speech to the Central Criminal Court today (FRI) saying that Adam had struggled from birth having been diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

She said that he never stopped fighting and overcame every challenge independently.

In a second victim impact statement, Adam's father Michael Bolger wrote that the family "can't understand how anyone could be so callous and brutal to inflict such a death on such a sweet and innocent person."

Mr Muldoon's younger sister Katie Muldoon delivered a powerful statement to the Central Criminal Court today saying that Adam had struggled from birth having been diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

He struggled to fit in, his sister said, and despite facing obstacles throughout his life, particularly following his mother's death, he kept fighting. "He was the light in any room," she said.

When Adam and Katie's mother died, Katie said the family became separated and Adam moved to Tallaght where other teenagers would take advantage of him.

But he "overcame every challenge independently", she said, and would "have a giggle with anybody. He really wouldn't hurt a fly."

The day he was murdered, she said, her life crashed.

On the day she was supposed to be celebrating her 16th birthday her family held a wake for her brother.

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She felt powerless and "everything has been downhill from there". "My heart aches," she said, as she thinks of Adam's final moments and the fear he must have felt.

She imagines her brother crying for her help. "Hearing how he begged for his life haunts me," she said.

At times she couldn't even say her brother's name as it would cause her to have a panic attack. She said that her physical and mental health began to suffer, adding: "There was no good left in the world. Everything was just dark."

She said her brother didn't deserve such a "gruesome" death and said the family had to endure a trial because Dunbar pleaded not guilty and then continued to lie.

She added: "His lack of emotion shows he has no remorse for what he has done." She thanked the people of Tallaght who had given evidence that helped secure Dunbar's conviction.

A second statement was written by Adam's father Michael Bolger and read to the court by Det Gda Nuala Burke.

Mr Muldoon said the family was "devastated " by his death and "can't understand how anyone could be so callous and brutal to inflict such a death on such a sweet and innocent person."

He said that Dunbar had caused "unimaginable despair, grief and heartache."

Det Gda Burke also told the court that Dunbar has a number of previous convictions under the Theft Act, for possession of drugs and for Road Traffic Act violations.

Mr Justice Paul McDermott said the deceased's life and the challenges he faced had been brought to the forefront by the "eloquent" statements made by his family.

He sentenced Dunbar to life imprisonment backdated to June 24, 2018 when he first went into custody.

Counsel for Dunbar, Giollaiosa O'Lideadha SC indicated that his client intends to appeal the murder verdict.

Outside court Superintendent Ian Lackey said the family and friends of Adam Muldoon had been suffering since Adam's "senseless murder".

He said he hopes the verdict and sentence handed down will offer them some comfort. He also thanked the people of Jobstown who helped Adam during his life and who also came forward to provide the evidence that convicted his murderer.

Mr Muldoon was living as a homeless person in Tallaght before he died.

The community in Glenshane would support him by feeding him and giving him clothes.

He knew Dunbar and on the sunny summer evening before he died he was hanging out with a small group of young people from the area including his killer.

Most of the group went home some time around 11pm and at 23.50 a camera attached to a house in Glenshane Drive caught Dunbar leading Mr Muldoon into the park, helping him over a low wall on the way in. 23 minutes later Dunbar, having carried out the murder, could be seen back in Glenshane Drive on his own.

At one point he held Mr Muldoon's Zimmer frame over his head as he walked towards his grandmother's house, where he was living at the time.

Having visited his own home Dunbar then went to a friend's house where he admitted he had just stabbed "Floater".

That friend gave evidence that Dunbar had arrived at his home still carrying the bloody knife and "boasted" about the murder, telling him he had put Mr Muldoon "out of his misery".

He said Dunbar had said for a long time that he wanted to put Mr Muldoon out of his misery and that he wanted to know what it was like to kill someone. He said the accused told him: "Now I know what it's like to be a killer. I know how it feels to be a killer."

The witness said Dunbar told him that he knew Mr Muldoon was dead "the second I got him in the neck" but that he "kept going and kept going", changing the hand that he was holding the knife in so that he could keep going.

The following morning at about 9am the witness said Dunbar called to his home again and they went together to the Square in Tallaght and then to nearby Sean Walsh Park where the accused threw the knife into a lake.

Dunbar's defence suggested to the jury that this witness, who cannot be named by order of the court, was present when the stabbing took place, a suggestion the witness strongly denied.

Mr Muldoon's body was discovered early the following morning and pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster identified 183 stab wounds.

Wounds to the carotid artery in the neck and to the liver and lungs were fatal and she further noted defensive wounds to his hands.

That Saturday night, about 24 hours after the stabbing, Dunbar went with his grandmother and other relatives to a garda station.

He revealed that he had gone into the park with Mr Muldoon and had a "blackout" but that he knew he had stabbed Mr Muldoon.

He would later claim to have drunk multiple bottles of Bulmers and to have taken numerous tablets. His lawyers argued that he was too intoxicated to form an intent and therefore did not have the necessary intent for a murder conviction.

Prosecution counsel Pauline Walley SC described Dunbar's claims of intoxication as "self-serving" and pointed out that the list of substances he said he was abusing grew over time as he spoke to gardai and later to psychiatrists.

A jury of six men and five women took less than three hours to dismiss Dunbar's defence and find him guilty of murder.

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