A HOMELESS Irishman who was allegedly punched and kicked to death on a Costa del Sol beach was trying to protect his belongings from a thief, it has emerged.

Now a Spanish man, aged 37, has been remanded in custody accused of causing the Irishman’s death.

Police say the victim, who was in his mid 40s and originally from Cork, has not been named by police as they try to find his relatives.

Malagueta Beach In Malaga. Andalusia, Costa Del Sol, Spain
Body of Irishman was found on la Malagueta beach. Photo: Adobe Stock Free image

The brutal assault happened on La Malagueta beach in Malaga on March 12, but details are only now being released.

Guardia Civil say he had been sleeping rough on the beach, which is a popular area for tourists, when he was attacked. Police believe a thief was trying to steal his belongings when the victim woke up and tried to stop him.

The alarm was raised at 6.30am when a passerby discovered the bloodstained body while out for a run. Police had had reports of shouting in the area shortly before.

The victim had such severe head injuries that officers originally believed he had been bludgeoned with a rock. A post mortem examination dismissed the theory, and concluded he had been punched and kicked to death

After studying CCTV footage police traced a suspect and made an arrest at 7pm the same day.

Police had to contact Interpol to identify the man through his fingerprints.

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