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Grin Reaper Killer Alan Walsh who beat pal to death pictured smoking outside hospital after falling ill in prison

Walsh received a life sentence after he was found guilty of kicking his drinking buddy to death and then setting fire to his body in a derelict mansion in order to cover up the crime.

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Alan Walsh taking a smoke break this week.

Alan Walsh taking a smoke break this week.

Alan Walsh taking a smoke break this week.

Killer Alan Walsh smokes a cigarette outside the hospital where he is being treated for serious illness.

The lifer was transferred to Tallaght Hospital after prison staff at Wheatfield Prison - where he is being held since being sentenced to life for the murder of his friend Dermot Sheridan - became concerned about his condition

He is being managed by prison officers while hospital medics run a number of tests on the murderer.

Sources say that Walsh (56) has had a negative diagnosis and has been subjected to a number of procedures to examine how advanced his illness is.

He is being guarded in a ward at the hospital with other patients, but is accompanied by prison officers for his regular smoking breaks outside.

Walsh received a life sentence after he was found guilty of kicking his drinking buddy to death and then setting fire to his body in a derelict mansion in order to cover up the crime.

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Murder victim Dermot Sheridan.

Murder victim Dermot Sheridan.

Murder victim Dermot Sheridan.

At the Central Criminal Court in 2008, a jury took just six hours to find him guilty of the brutal murder of father-of-three Sheridan in Clontarf and guilty of arson at a premises at Red Court, Seafield Road East.

During the trial, the court heard that the victim sustained a horrific attack and was kicked at least 90 times in the space of an hour.

The pair had been drinking at St Anne's Park and Walsh had consumed up to 30 cans of lager during the day, but a row had broken out between the pair when they went to the property to continue their session.

The killer later told officers that he had become tired while he kicked Sheridan repeatedly and at one point stopped to take a cigarette break.

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Brutal killer Alan Walsh steps out of his ward to have a cigarette at Tallaght Hospital

Brutal killer Alan Walsh steps out of his ward to have a cigarette at Tallaght Hospital

Brutal killer Alan Walsh steps out of his ward to have a cigarette at Tallaght Hospital

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The row, he said, started when the victim accused him of being just like his own father and made critical remarks about his family.

Walsh told officers that his father had liver disease and was dying at the time.

In horrific evidence relayed to the trial judge, it was heard that when the injured Sheridan started groaning, Walsh kicked him again and it was only when his face turned purple that he stacked newspapers over his body and set them alight. He even admitted that he didn't know if his friend was dead or alive when he set fire to his body.

He left the scene but later handed himself in to Raheny Garda Station and told officers about the crime. Sheridan's body was found in the kitchen of the house and tests later showed he was dead before the fire was started.

In a victim impact statement, the court heard that Sheridan's mother had died months after her son was found. Walsh apologised to the Sheridan family after he was found guilty.

He has been serving his life sentence ever since and sources say he has continued to drink 'prison hooch' behind bars. The drink is often made from vegetable scrapings taken from the kitchens and is shared around inmates. The homemade brew is highly intoxicating.

Walsh has suffered numerous health problems in the past few years and was brought to Tallaght Hospital last weekend after prison staff became concerned about his condition.

He has undergone a series of tests at the hospital, where he is being kept in an ordinary ward with other patients despite being flanked at all times by prison officers.

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Alan Walsh in court for the brutal killing of his pal Dermot Sheridan in 2008

Alan Walsh in court for the brutal killing of his pal Dermot Sheridan in 2008

Alan Walsh in court for the brutal killing of his pal Dermot Sheridan in 2008

Despite his condition, he still takes regular smoke breaks and has to be accompanied by officers outside on a number of occasions during the day.

It is not yet clear when he will be returned to prison but he has not been allowed visitors or phonecalls at the hospital in line with the conditions of the life sentence he is serving.

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