‘Gentle’ Dublin man dies after one-punch attack in Boston on St Patrick’s Day
Police have confirmed Barry Whelan, who was originally from Dublin, died following the assault that happened on March 17 around 9pm.
A Dublin man who died after a one-punch attack in downtown Boston as he was celebrating St Patrick’s Day has been described as a “gentle soul”.
Boston Police have confirmed that Barry Whelan, who was originally from Dublin, died following the assault that happened on March 17 around 9pm.
He had been knocked unconscious near a Downtown Crossing ATM and rushed to hospital before he was later taken off life support.
The cause of Whelan’s death was blunt force trauma, officials say, and is now being investigated as a murder.
Mr Whelan was born and raised in Ireland but isbelieved to have been living in Woburn, a town 14km outside of Boston, in recent years.
John Marsoobian, co-owner of Twin Peaks Construction in Foxborough, told Boston 25 News that Whelan worked at his company as a carpenter for the last two years.
“He talked on Friday afternoon about the fact that it was St. Patrick’s Day, and he just wanted to go have a Guinness to celebrate,” recalled Marsoobian.
Whelan was standing near a TD Bank ATM on Winter Street where law enforcement sources told Boston 25 News he was punched.
Police were called to a report of a person unconscious on the ground.
Arriving officers say they saw no obvious injuries, but EMS said a small abrasion to the back of Whelan’s head was visible.
He was rushed to a nearby Tufts Medical Center for treatment.
“We didn’t hear from him all weekend, and when we arrived at the job site that he was running, he wasn’t there,” said Marsoobian.
“It was highly unlike Barry to not show up for work.”
Marsoobian helped to connect police with Whelan’s family after he established that Whelan was in critical condition.
“He was patient. He was hardworking. He worked six days a week. He paid his taxes and he never complained about anything,” said Marsoobian.
“He would give you the shirt off his back.”
It has been reported that Whelan’s mother lives in Ireland and that he has a brother currently living in Spain who has now travelled to Boston.
“He called Barry a gentle soul. That’s what Barry was, a gentle soul,” said Marsoobian.
“We will help the brother and their mom for as much as we need to help them through this and even after.”
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has determined the cause of Whelan’s death was blunt force trauma, and they’ve ruled it a homicide.
Police haven’t said if they’re any closer to making an arrest, and authorities haven’t yet speculated on a motive.
Sources told Boston 25 News that investigators recovered surveillance video that showed the incident.
“Our police are able to do their job under difficult circumstances, and the morale at the Boston Police Department and other departments is at an all-time low,” added Marsoobian. “What happens to people after police arrest them? That is, if they’re even able to arrest them in the first place.”
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