The man who died in a house fire in Douglas yesterday has been named locally as 57-year-old Conor Downey, a convicted killer and sex offender.
Downey is understood to have been pronounced dead following a house fire at his home on Douglas Road West on Tuesday afternoon.
He was jailed in 1993 in London after confessing to the 1988 manslaughter of 26-year-old Donegal native Suzanne Redden.
Downey admitted to strangling Ms Redden after, he claimed, she had withdrawn consent during sex.
Information given to Surrey police by Downey led to the recovery of parts of Ms Redden’s body, but her torso was never recovered.
Downey served only three years for the killing, returning to Cork after his release.
In May of 2001, Downey was arrested by gardaí in Cork on suspicion of the attempted rape of a woman in Cork in 1988 after he had broken into her apartment and sexually assaulted her and beaten her.
Investigating gardaí testified that the Cork woman had been so badly beaten that her facial injuries caused them initially to think she was wearing a Halloween mask.
Downey was jailed in 2004 for 12 years after a trial in the Central Criminal Court in Dublin, and was later released early with remission, with the final 12 months suspended.
He was also convicted in 2004 for assaulting the doctor who had collected blood samples from him for the DNA test which connected him to the attack against the Cork woman.
Downey had burst into the doctor's surgery with a knife while the doctor was seeing a patient and had threatened to stab the doctor.
“I am in the Central Criminal Court because of you,” Downey told the doctor as he held a knife to his stomach.
It is understood that Downey had kept a low profile since he returned to Douglas in 2012, spending much of his time caring for his sister.
The fire in Downey’s home broke out shortly before 3:15 pm on Tuesday afternoon, and three units from Cork City Fire brigade responded.
Gardai confirmed yesterday that they were “at the scene of a fatal house fire that occurred at a property on the Douglas West Road.” It is understood that the formal identification of Downey’s remains required an examination of dental records.
While the cause of the blaze has yet to be established, the death is not believed to be suspicious.
Conor Downey’s body was removed to Cork University Hospital and an autopsy is expected to be carried out later today.