‘Gentle soul’: Ireland native fatally punched in downtown Boston was celebrating St. Patrick’s Day

BOSTON — The boss of a man who was knocked unconscious near a Downtown Crossing ATM on St. Patrick’s Day is reeling after the 46-year-old was taken off life support.

Boston police have confirmed that Barry Whelan died following the assault that happened on March 17th around 9 p.m.

Whelan, who was most recently living in Woburn, is originally from Dublin, Ireland.

John Marsoobian, co-owner of Twin Peaks Construction in Foxborough, told Boston 25 News that Whelan worked at his company as a carpenter for the last two years.

“He talked on Friday afternoon about the fact that it was St. Patrick’s Day, and he just wanted to go have a Guinness to celebrate,” recalled Marsoobian.

Whelan was standing near a TD Bank ATM on Winter Street where law enforcement sources told Boston 25 News he was sucker punched.

Police were called to a report of a person unconscious on the ground.

Whelan was rushed to Tufts Medical Center with an abrasion on the back of his head.

“We didn’t hear from him all weekend, and when we arrived at the job site that he was running, he wasn’t there,” said Marsoobian. “It was highly unlike Barry to not show up for work.”

Marsoobian would soon find out that Whelan was in critical condition at the hospital, and the prognosis wasn’t good.

He helped to connect police with Whelan’s family overseas.

“He was patient. He was hardworking. He worked six days a week. He paid his taxes and he never complained about anything,” said Marsoobian. “He would give you the shirt off his back.”

Whelan leaves behind a mother in Ireland and a brother who’s currently living in Spain.

Whelan’s brother has traveled to Boston to mourn the untimely death of his younger sibling.

“He called Barry a gentle soul. That’s what Barry was, a gentle soul,” said Marsoobian. “We will help the brother and their mom for as much as we need to help them through this and even after.”

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has determined the cause of Whelan’s death was blunt force trauma, and they’ve ruled it a homicide.

Police haven’t said if they’re any closer to making an arrest, and authorities haven’t yet speculated on a motive.

Sources told Boston 25 News that investigators recovered surveillance video that shows everything.

“Our police are able to do their job under difficult circumstances, and the morale at the Boston Police Department and other departments is at an all-time low,” added Marsoobian. “What happens to people after police arrest them? That is, if they’re even able to arrest them in the first place.”

A visitation for Whelan is scheduled to happen this Thursday at the William J. Gormley Funeral Home in West Roxbury from 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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