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Monday 4 December 2023 Dublin: 4°C

Father makes emotional appeal to find son's killer: 'Why did they do that to Mark? He was harmless'

The remains of Mark Burke were found at Thornton’s Recycling facility in July 2014.

MARK BURKE WAS last seen in Dun Laoghaire at 2pm on 28 July 2014, his remains appeared on a skip in a Ballyfermot recycling centre three days later.

His father, Noel Burke, has made an emotional appeal to the public to help find his son’s killers who have not been brought to justice.

Speaking on Liveline, Burke described how, “Mark was a lovely boy, he grew up and never gave me any bother, went to work and everything.

“He was a normal young fellow but he just closed the curtains one day. Mark has seven beautiful children and a partner that would have him back tomorrow.

He suffered from depression, he just closed the curtains and started drinking. We had him in everywhere … he wouldn’t talk to any psychiatrist.

“He became homeless when he was around 30 – he wasn’t the Mark that we knew, that we raised.”

Burke added that his son was “known to gardaí but for nothing bad … for robbing cans or not paying on the Luas”.

Mark wasn’t involved in any criminality, he was a nuisance more than anything else.

Gentle Giant

“[There was] something was in the back of my brain that I hadn’t seen him so I went out to look for him.”

Burke said that it wouldn’t be unusual for Mark to go missing for weeks on end but he became concerned when he heard about the reports.

“It came up on Crimecall, the remains of a man aged between 30-50. It said the normal things to identify Mark, like his hands or his teeth weren’t there.”

Burke said he knew it was Mark when he heard that the man found at Thorntons recycling facility had had brain surgery.

It was the brain thing … because of his height and because Mark had surgery.

“I went down to the gardaí and asked them if they’d check the remains, they took a swab from his mother and it was Mark.”

Mark had received brain surgery after he was badly beaten, Burke said his son was regularly beaten but never spoke about it.

Although Mark was six foot, he wouldn’t be able to defend himself, his mind wasn’t in the right pace.

“He was too afraid to speak out – he was a gentle giant yah know.”

‘It never leaves you’

In an emotional appeal for information about his son’s murder, Noel said:

“It never leaves you … you can’t even get half an hour. ‘What if, why did they do that to Mark? He was harmless’.

Burke described how the killers poured acid like a strong vinegar on Mark to cover up any smell, adding:

This person or persons have to be caught because they will do it again, whoever it is.

“I just plead with anyone around Dun Laoghaire – did they see him or hear of anything?”

RTÉ Radio 1 / SoundCloud

Read: Four-year-old British boy drowns in pool on holiday in Spain>

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