The inquest into the death a man whose identity was a mystery until advances were made in DNA profiling has heard the kindness of the local community who buried the unidentified remains had helped ease the pain of his family.

The remains of Joe Reilly, 50, from Hatch Street, Dublin, were washed onto Rockmarshall Beach in Co Louth on 4 June 2007. Scientific advances led to his identification in 2017.

His torso and skeletal remains of his lower body were found by a woman walking on the beach and a post mortem was carried out by former deputy state pathologist Dr Michael Curtis. DNA samples were also taken.

Louth County Coroner Ronan Maguire said the then unidentified remains were "buried in Lordship Cemetery with the generosity of people in the local area who organised the burial and they all attended his funeral as well".

In December 2017, the remains were positively identified after comparing the DNA profile of the deceased, who had been reported missing by his family, with those of two of his brothers.

The jury at the Coroner's Court in Dundalk returned an open verdict, but found that Mr Reilly had died on 4 June 2007 and the cause of his death was "unascertainable".

The coroner expressed his sympathies to Mr Reilly's family and said they had "waited a long, long time," and he presumed the recent scientific developments would prevent other long periods of time elapsing for other families.

He said Mr Reilly "was treated with great courtesy by the residents of the area and they all went to his funeral".

His brother Dermott said: "The only good to come out of this was the real generosity of the community in Dundalk which was inspiring to everybody and took a lot of pain off the family.

"It shows the good side of humanity we don't see normally and that it is alive and kicking in this area."

Mr Reilly's remains have since been interred in Co Cavan.

Reporting Elaine Keogh