Sunday 17 December 2017

Daniel held down and stabbed by two strangers

Tom Brady and Shane Hickey

GARDAI investigating the brutal murder of a teenager stabbed six times and dumped in a field believe at least two men were involved in the attack.

Investigating officers are satisfied that 17-year-old Daniel McAnaspie, who had absconded from Health Service Executive (HSE) care, was murdered close to where he was last seen alive in Blanchardstown in west Dublin and his body was then taken 25km along the old Dublin-Derry road to be dumped in a ditch in a field.

Daniel had gone to Blanchardstown with a group of friends and became involved with others, who were not known by him.

He was spotted at Whitestown Avenue around 3.30am on February 26 and gardai think he was stabbed to death shortly after that.


He was stabbed six times in the upper body and neck. Officers are working on the basis that his body was then bundled into a car and his killers drove up the N2 from Blanchardstown towards Slane before leaving him in the ditch at Gilliamstown, Rathfeigh, near Duleek, Co Meath.

Gardai issued a fresh appeal for help yesterday from anybody who might have spotted suspicious activity in the Gilliamstown area in the early hours of February 26.

Officers pointed out that it was dark until around 7.30am and asked locals to jog their memories to recall if they had noticed lights in the fields that morning.

They estimated that it would have taken the killers 25 minutes to drive from Whitestown to Gilliamstown that morning.

Sixty gardai have been working on the investigation since shortly after Daniel disappeared as senior officers had grave concerns about his safety from an early stage.

The body was found in the ditch last Thursday afternoon.

Gardai have already traced a group of friends who had been with Daniel outside the Erin's Isle GAA club in Finglas on the afternoon of February 25.

He travelled with that group to Whitestown Avenue where he was later seen socialising with others, who were previously strangers to him.

Gardai believe the killers were among the strangers and that he was held down and stabbed, rather than being the victim of a frenzied attack.

Daniel was identified at the weekend following DNA and other tests.

His body still remains at Blanchardstown Hospital for further tests while an entomologist, who is expert in analysing soil and insects, has also been called in to help confirm whether the body had been in the ditch since the day of his disappearance.

Investigating officers are also trawling through the files on previous knife attacks in the area, where young offenders were involved.

The teenager's family, meanwhile, are pressing ahead with their campaign for a full independent inquiry into what they claimed was the failure of the HSE to take proper care of Daniel, who had been living in an HSE house in Donabate, Co Dublin, but had regularly gone missing, usually for up to a day.

Irish Independent

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