A murder trial has heard that a homeless man who was allegedly beaten to death with a hammer while living rough in the Phoenix Park in Dublin had €8,500 in cash and a building society account with €140,000.

A 29-year-old man has gone on trial for his murder.

Ciaran Moran, with an address at Camden Hall, Camden Street in Dublin, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Gerard Donnelly at an unknown time during 28 or 29 November 2013.

Opening the case for the prosecution, senior counsel Caroline Biggs told the jury there would be disturbing aspects to the case and disturbing items of evidence.

She said Mr Donnelly was a homeless man living in the Phoenix Park.

His body was found on fire in the park in the early hours of 29 November 2013.

He was pronounced dead at the scene, but the exact time of death was not known.

An aerosol can was found on his body.

He died from catastrophic head injuries caused by a blunt instrument.

There was fire damage to his body and one of his toes had been recently amputated. He also had a v-shaped injury to his thumb.

The jury heard a number of items were found at the scene including a lump hammer, a metal pincer tool and a propane canister with a blow torch attached.

The court was told both Mr Donnelly and Mr Moran were homeless.

Mr Donnelly was living in a hostel.

Ms Biggs told the jury it would hear evidence that puts the accused in the proximity of the scene on 28 November.

There would also be evidence that he did not stay in his hostel that night but instead booked into a Bed and Breakfast.

There would also be evidence from CCTV and civilian witnesses that he had been in possession of a number of items including a gas canister, a hammer and other items consistent with those found at the scene.

The jury would also hear evidence that prior to the death, the accused man was aware that Mr Donnelly was a man of "considerable funds".

The court was told a Garda had come across Mr Donnelly a month before his death and found he had €8,500 in cash and an EBS deposit book showing €140,000.

She said the jury would also hear that the accused man made certain significant admissions in relation to Mr Donnelly's death.

She said the jury would have to decide what happened between 28 and 29 November 2013 and whether or not Mr Moran had caused Mr Donnelly's death and had the required mental intent.

The jury would hear evidence from a number of gardaí who came into contact with Mr Donnelly and Mr Moran and two others on 20 November.

The trial before Ms Justice Margaret Heneghan and a jury of nine men and three women is expected to last ten days.