A dead body lay undiscovered in an Irish fish store's freezer for five years — despite more than 20 routine inspections by health and safety officials.

Health inspectors and officials from the Department of Marine failed to notice the body of 52-year-old manslaughter victim Patrick McCormack in the walk-in freezer.

The body was only discovered after the owner of the store decided to empty out the entire freezer in advance of another routine inspection.

McCormack's body was discovered by Ali Jalivand the owner of the Mermaid fishmongers on Henry Street in Galway.

Jalivand said he threw up when he moved a box of frozen fish and found McCormack's body underneath.

Edward Griffin (45) is currently serving eight years in prison for the manslaughter of McCormack. Griffin had worked in the fish shop for over four years and had only finished work there months before the body was discovered.

Griffin had admitted killing McCormack with a wheel brace during a row between the pair who were involved in dealing drugs.

Speaking at McCormack's inquest this week, Deputy State Pathologist Dr. Michael Curtis said the body took several days to thaw.

He said McCormack's body showed 40 injuries — with 17 on the head — and that his hand had been tied behind his back.

Curtis concluded that the man died form severe blunt force trauma to the head.