Mystery man from Callan

A MYSTERY MAN only identified by a unique tattoo as his family had disowned him was in fact convicted murderer Michael Paul McGrath from Callan.

A MYSTERY MAN only identified by a unique tattoo as his family had disowned him was in fact convicted murderer Michael Paul McGrath from Callan.

The 42-year-old was living under an assumed name in Galway and was found dead in his rented apartment on May 20 of last year. His family in Kilkenny have disowned him and did not want any involvement with him and were not willing to provide DNA evidence to gardai to confirm his identity.

Garda Mark Lawless told an inquest in Galway that he had been alerted on May 20 last year and went to the address.

Concerns were raised due to a large number of flies gathering on the inside window of his apartment.

The inquest heard that there were flies throughout the apartment and a very strong smell. The garda saw the body of a man sitting on a sofa with a mobile phone in his left hand. Documents in the apartment showed the name Paul Shannon with a date of birth in 1969.

A doctor was called and pronounced the man dead and also estimated that he had been dead for six or seven weeks.

Garda Lawless subsequently discovered that the deceased was formerly Michael Paul McGrath, originally from Callan. He had been given a life sentence for murder in the UK in 1986.

He had served a 20-year sentence before being released in 2006. He subsequently moved to Galway where he lived a reclusive life. He was identified by a Chinese dragon tattoo.

The inquest heard that the cause of death could not be discerned with certainty due to advanced decomposition, but it appeared to have been due to natural causes. There was no evidence of trauma.