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Thursday 14 December 2017

Canal death link to crime figure probed by gardaí

Tom Brady and Ken Foy

Gardaí are to release a detailed description of the suitcase in which the body of murder victim Kennneth O'Brien was discovered in an effort to gather more insight into his murder and disappearance.

The gardaí are trying to pin down when O'Brien left his home for the final time last Friday as they believe it is crucial to their inquiries to find his brutal killer.

Mr O'Brien, whose torso was found in a suitcase in the Grand Canal at Ardclough in north Kildare on Saturday afternoon, was alone at his house in Lealand Road, Clondalkin, in west Dublin.

His partner had already left for work in the family car and detectives are now trying to establish if the 33-year-old was collected by somebody outside his home or was meeting him nearby.

Mr O'Brien had told his partner the previous night that he was travelling outside Dublin the next day for a job.

But gardaí do not think he left the capital.

They are anxious to determine when he left the house on either Friday morning or early afternoon as they have to trawl through a huge amount of CCTV footage in the surrounding area.

Officers hope the footage will either show Mr O'Brien as he walked away from his estate or being picked up in a vehicle.

It is believed a feared west Dublin criminal is also being probed over a possible link to the murder.

However, this is just one line of inquiry in what is being called an "extremely complex case which keeps on throwing up new information."

Gardaí are also investigating whether sinister threats were made to a woman known to Mr O'Brien (33) and other people known to him in the weeks before he was brutally murdered.

"New pieces of information are coming in all the time and over 50 new lines of inquiry have opened up in the last 24 hours," a source explained.

Gardaí will launch a reconstruction of events at the Ardclough stretch of the canal this evening and tomorrow and intend to stop cars and walkers to find out if they have been in that area last weekend.

And officers will release a detailed description of the suitcase in which the torso was found as they try to find out if it had been purchased recently or had gone missing from someone's home.

One of the senior officers told the Irish Independent last night he was "quietly confident" that the killer would be caught.

But he warned that the investigation was likely to be a lengthy one unless they gathered fresh intelligence.

He predicted that if they got a break in their inquiries, it would be significant. He said that several hundred lines of inquiry were being pursued.

Irish Independent

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