Saturday 1 October 2016

Mystery grows over canal suitcase body as gardai reveal body only recently placed in water

Published 17/01/2016 | 15:19

Gardai have launched a full scale murder investigation after the discovery of a male torso in a suitcase near Cellbridge in County Kildare. Two walkers made the grisly discovery along the Grand Canal in Ardclough on Saturday afternoon.

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Despite fears for missing Wicklow man Barry Corcoran, gardai appear to have ruled him out as a victim - as the body was only recently placed in the water.

Appealing for witnesses at Ardclough Bridge in the South of the County yesterday, Superindentant Gerry Wall of Leixlip Garda Station said: “Yesterday afternoon we received a call at about half past three from two people walking along the scene here behind me [on] the Grand Canal. They had discovered a suitcase and when we attended at the scene we found that that suitcase contained a torso.

“From there, we have commenced a full murder investigation. The Garda Technical Bureau are at the scene and as you can see the search teams are actively involved behind me. I have the Garda Sub-Aqua team here along the canal and Dr Curtis is currently carrying out his examination at Naas General Hospital.

Gardaí at scene where body was recovered from canal Photo: Douglas O'Connor
Gardaí at scene where body was recovered from canal Photo: Douglas O'Connor
Gardaí at scene where body was recovered from canal Photo: Douglas O'Connor
Gardaí at scene where body was recovered from canal Photo: Douglas O'Connor
Gardaí at scene where body was recovered from canal Photo: Douglas O'Connor

“At this stage it’s very early stages in a murder investigation and you’ll appreciate that we only have a certain amount of information but I can say that it is a male. I can’t elaborate any further on that.”

This appeal today is specifically for people who used the Grand Canal between Carneystown Bridge and Henry Bridge where we are now in Ardclough, it’s known as the Ardclough Bridge. This is a walkway used by people every day, and we’re looking for those people to come forward.

“If you walked this canal, cycled it, whatever, in the last number of days, we’re asking you to contact us. Any person who used the canal since last Thursday to Saturday afternoon, we would greatly appreciate to hear from those people.”

Ruling out any link to missing Wicklow man Barry Corcoran, Superintendant Wall continued: “From the early evidence and investigation we’re satisfied that this is a recent event.

“I’m clarifying that - that it’s a recent event as far as we’re concerned in this investigation.

“The nature of what we’ve discovered would suggest a violent death and that’s all I can say at the present time.

Gardaí at scene where body was recovered from canal Photo: Douglas O'Connor
Gardaí at scene where body was recovered from canal Photo: Douglas O'Connor

“In total there from Carneystown it’s about a five kilometre walk. It’s a very popular walk, and about 500 metres from the Ardlcough Bridge where we’re standing now, is the point where we located it, that is not to say that that is the exact point it went there. “

“So anybody who was out walking, who may have seen this suitcase or a container in the water, we want to hear from them, and I can’t emphasise that enough.

“The importance of witness evidence and people coming forward to us, able to assist us in forming the big picture of what may have occured in this, I can’t overemphasise the importance of that witness evidence.

“If you walked this canal in the last few days, it’s very important that come forward to us. It’s very early, and any avenue of investigation is open.

“Again I come back to the point that witness evidence, if you were here, no matter what you see, if you were here - you walked along here with your dog or you cycled - please come forward and give us a call at Leixlip [Garda Station] at 01 666 7800.

“First of all I would ask people not to speculate. If they were here, let them come forward and tell us their story, and let us decide from then what is important or what would be relevant.”

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