'Body in field' drug dealer was tortured and mutilated then murdered
GARDAI are now satisfied that a drug dealer, whose body parts were found in a field earlier this month, was tortured and horribly mutilated before being killed.
Officers say they are making some progress with their investigation into the murder of Christopher Gaffney (37), who is believed to have been killed after a row with local criminals over money.
Gaffney's arm was discovered in a wooded area at The Mayne in Clonee, Co Meath, two weeks ago by two pheasant hunters.
He had been reported missing by his family almost four weeks earlier but had not been seen for over seven weeks.
As a result of the find, gardai launched a major comb-through of the area. Divers discovered his torso and other body parts in a black bin bag the following day.
Gardai think he may have been tortured and killed at another location before his body was dismembered and dumped there. His skull has not yet been discovered.
Officers said that the criminal suffered a gruesome ordeal as his attackers attempted to extort money from him before they murdered him.
A detailed examination of his recovered remains confirmed fears of the extent of his torture and mutilation.
Gardai initially thought his murder might have been linked to an ongoing feud arising from the death of a young west Dublin man because of suspicions that Gaffney had helped to dispose of the victim's body.
But inquiries now indicate his death is more likely to have been carried out by a crime gang as a result of an argument over cash.
Gaffney, who was from Blanchardstown, was well known to gardai as a violent criminal and heroin dealer.
He was jailed for five years in 2001 for his role in running a heroin-dealing operation in the inner city in Dublin, in which it was claimed that Gaffney made profits of around €5,000 a week.
His trial was told that he had used a bicycle to transport heroin from his base at East Wall to a team of street sellers in the city centre.