Homeless man ‘beaten beyond recognition’ and killed ‘because he was gay’, court told

Timmy Hourihane, a gay homeless man who was murdered in Ireland

A father in Ireland was brutally killed “for no other reason than for being gay”, a murder trial has heard.

Timmy Hourihane, 53, died on 13 October, 2019, at the tented village he had been living in in Cork, according to The Southern Star.

He was a trained chef who had spent time working for Hilton hotels in the UK, but had later become homeless.

Two men have been charged with his murder – one is 28-year-old James Brady, and the other cannot be named because of reporting restrictions. Brady has pleaded not guilty.

Kathleen O’Brien, who had also been living in the tented village in Cork, Ireland, gave her account of the attack to Cork’s Central Criminal Court, and told a jury how she tried to protect the father-of-one.

She said that the two defendants had been “firing each other up, getting angrier and angrier” when they arrived at the encampment.

Brady, she said, was first to attack Hourihane, hitting him “in the face with his fist”, before “Timmy fell over”.

She continued: “James Brady opened his legs and said to [the unnamed man] to ‘go on, kick him, he’s only a f****t’.”

The men began “stamping” on the victim’s head and legs, she said, and she tried to throw herself on top of Hourihane as a human shield.

But, she said: “There was no stopping. I screamed and pleaded, everything, for them to stop.”

O’Brien said she believes the attack only ended when the defendants “exhausted themselves”, leaving Hourihane beaten “beyond recognition”.

According to assistant state pathologist Dr Margot Bolster, Hourihane’s cause of death with inhalation of blood and bleeding in the lungs because of severe blunt force trauma to his head and face. The blood in his lungs led to cardiac arrest.

He suffered 17 separate facial injuries, including bleeding into his eyeballs, a fractured jaw, and knocked out teeth.

After his death, Dr Bolster said she was taken to the spot where Hourihane was killed, as saw an “indentation” on the ground where he had been.

Asked by Brady’s defence whether he could have been pulling the other defendant off of Hourihane, O’Brien emphatically disagreed.

She said: “James Brady and [the other man] were riling each other up. James Brady was trying to say that Timmy flirted with him and tried to drop a hand on him.

“That got [the other man] riled up and then the two of them got into a rage. James Brady hit Timmy and Timmy fell down and then [the other man] went in… I can tell you this, with my hand on my heart, on the holy bible, James Brady and [the other man] killed that man for no other reason than the man was gay.”

The trial continues.