Dublin’s latest murder victim had been in and out of foster homes since he was a young boy.
People familiar with the tragic man say that he never stood a chance due to the chaotic background.
The 28-year-old’s remains were discovered on Tuesday after they had been left to decompose in a north inner city ‘drugs den’ for days..
He had been in and out of foster homes since he was a young boy. He also spent time as a juvenile in a number of different institutions – being placed in care 10 times.
But that is not to say that he was not loved by many. He had many family members who supported and loved him.
No one deserves Tony’s grim end – his decomposing body left near a bed as drug addicts continued to party only a few feet away from where his body was covered with blankets.
Not only was he savagely attacked in a flat where he suffered unpublishable fatal head injuries in a dwelling that has been described as “a place of absolute horror” by a person who had the misfortune of being in it this week.
Tony is fondly remembered by his family and friends and he had to endure some terrible recent tragedies within his close family unit.
No one knows what his frame of mind was when he was savagely attacked in the grim north inner city drugs den where he lost his life.
But what is known is that, even as a juvenile teenager, Tony got sucked into a life of drugs, crime, violence and then jail which also led to him being homeless at stages of his tragic life.
The murdered 28-year-old man was a feature of garda intelligence bulletins before he was even old enough to vote.
Tony was one of dozens of young men sucked into senseless gangland feuding in the capital’s south inner city a decade ago, much of it fuelled by convicted killers ‘Fat’ Freddie Thompson and his arch-rival Brian Rattigan – the so-called Crumlin/Drimnagh feud.
But in reality much of the violence in this dispute happened in areas like Inchicore where Tony grew up.
Almost nine years ago, he appeared before Dublin District Court where he admitted having control of a petrol bomb and components in a south inner city Dublin flat complex.
Barely old enough to face court as an adult, he was jailed for nine months after he decided not to contest the case in the Circuit Court which has wider sentencing powers.
There was an incident at the Basin Street flats in Inchicore on October 24, 2012 – in which a Dublin couple were shot at while making a fast food delivery – and as a result gardai searched the flats complex.
An explosive petrol bomb and components were found by gardai in a bedroom in one of the flats on October 25.
Gardai said Tony was seen running from the area. He was later arrested and admitted that the petrol bomb and components were under his control.
He continued to be involved in gangland violence and drug dealing and ultimately drug addiction in the years after that.
In July, 2013, he was involved in a shocking incident in which a man was viciously stabbed.
The victim was beaten with his fists, then with a crutch. He was also stabbed with a knife twice in the back.
Gardaí were called to the scene and followed a trail of blood from the ambulance treating the victim to where he was assaulted in the Basin Street flat complex.
The victim was hospitalised for his injuries. He was reluctant to make a statement to gardaí, but did confirm he had been stabbed.
Tony was jailed for two years for this offence. He also given another two years after for possessing stolen property, including an axe, on August 7, 2013.
He was spotted hiding under a hedge at Wainsford Manor Crescent, Terenure, Co Dublin holding an axe which he had stolen from a nearby house.
He was also carrying stolen house and car keys from the house, and other items including a stolen screwdriver and silver necklace.
He was arrested and admitted the offence.
Court records show that Tony Dempsey had more than 50 criminal convictions including 22 for road traffic offences, and others for theft, drugs, criminal damage and possession of knives and firearms.
But no one deserves what happened to him.
Ultimately his involvement in drugs cost him his life as sources said today that gardai believe his murder was drug related.