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Dublin man sentenced to life in prison for murder of homeless man at Tallaght park

Philip Dunbar had pleaded not guilty to the murder of Adam Muldoon, who died after being stabbed 183 times in June 2018.

Gardaí at the scene in Tallaght in June 2018.
Gardaí at the scene in Tallaght in June 2018.

Updated Nov 6th 2020, 1:55 PM

ADAM MULDOON WAS “the light in any room” his sister said today in a powerful statement to the Central Criminal Court in which she pointed out that the man who stabbed her brother 183 times has shown no remorse for the “gruesome” murder.

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.”

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 22 or 23 June 2018.

Dunbar stabbed Adam Muldoon 183 times in an unprovoked attack 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.

Adam Muldoon’s younger sister Katie 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. 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.

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A second statement was written by Adam’s father Michael Bolger and read to the court by Det Garda Nuala Burke. He 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 Garda 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 24 June 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. 

About the author:

Eoin Reynolds

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