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Sunday 25 June 2017

Specialist cadaver dogs brought in from UK for search for missing rapist

The site of the search at Tolka Park (Inset: Convicted rapist James Nolan)
The site of the search at Tolka Park (Inset: Convicted rapist James Nolan)
The grim discovery of the remains of James Nolan was made at an embankment in Tolka Valley Park in Finglas. Photo: Collins
The site being searched by gardaí (Photo: Amy Molloy)

Amy Molloy and Ken Foy

Specialist Cadaver dogs were brought in from the UK for the park search of the remains convicted rapist James Nolan.

Superintendent William Carolan confirmed that the search of Tolka Valley Park is continuing today as they try to further locate any remains. The grim discovery of a male torso was made during the search at an embankment in Tolka Valley Park in Finglas shortly before 2pm on Monday.

However, gardai cannot yet confirm if the torso is that of James Nolan.

Supt Carolan said at a media briefing today that they are focusing the search on particular "areas of interest" based on information provided but they cannot comment any further because the "investigation is live".

They also confirmed that the family of James Nolan have been notified of the discovery.

Gardai said the torso was "mostly intact" and was found about one foot deep in the ground.

The dig site in Tolka Valley Park in Finglas where a Human Torso was discovered .
The dig site in Tolka Valley Park in Finglas where a Human Torso was discovered .
The dig site in Tolka Valley Park in Finglas where a Human Torso was discovered .
The site being searched by gardaí (Photo: Amy Molloy)

Around 50pc of the site has so far been searched.

The case of Nolan’s suspected murder first came to public prominence when his arm was washed up on Dollymount Strand in 2011.

The grim discovery of the remains of James Nolan was made at an embankment in Tolka Valley Park in Finglas. Photo: Collins
The grim discovery of the remains of James Nolan was made at an embankment in Tolka Valley Park in Finglas. Photo: Collins

Gardai have been searching at the Finglas location since the morning of April 1 last and are expected to continue looking for the rest of the murdered rapist’s remains in the coming days.

The Herald first revealed in December that gardai had planned to carry out a dig in the north Dublin park because of details left in a 21-page suicide letter written by Nolan’s killer and sent to family members.

Convicted rapist James Nolan
Convicted rapist James Nolan

The letter states that James Nolan was strangled to death by his killer in Glasnevin Cemetery.

His body was then brought to an address in north Dublin and cut into pieces at that address.

The killer then disposed of most of Nolan’s body parts in Co Monaghan and at Tolka Valley Park.

Gardai have been involved in a detailed search of the park for over a week. Specialist equipment and a cadaver dog are being used to support the search.

It is understood that Nolan’s severed arm which was found washed up at Dollymount Strand had been originally thrown into the Tolka River and then washed out to sea.

Detectives are working on the theory that he was strangled to death by the man known to him.

James Nolan’s inquest heard that Nolan’s arm was found by a man walking his dog on February 8, 2011.

The inquest into Nolan’s death which happened in February of last year heard from State Pathologist Marie Cassidy who said that Nolan’s arm was “cleanly” severed post-death using a very sharp knife and tattoos had been cut from the skin.

Nolan’s last known whereabouts were when he collected methadone from the Wellmount Clinic in Finglas on November 30, 2010.

Nolan had been missing since shortly after he was released from Portlaoise Prison having served a three year sentence there for burglary in Booterstown, south Dublin, in 2005.

In 1986 he was jailed for 14 years when he was convicted of rape and false imprisonment.

The 1986 rape attack is considered one of the most savage to have ever happened in Ireland and the victim was brutally attacked in front of her partner.

Sources say that the rape incident is being probed as a possible motive for Nolan’s gruesome murder even though his suspected killer was not present on the night.

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