Gardaí search for gun used to shoot O'Brien in the head
Gardaí are trying to trace the gun used to murder Kenneth O'Brien after he clashed with thugs from an organised crime gang in west Dublin.
A post mortem examination by Deputy State Pathologist Michael Curtis disclosed yesterday that Mr O'Brien had been shot in the head and his body was then dismembered.
DNA analysis of the remains also confirmed that the murder victim was Mr O'Brien.
The examination was carried out at Naas General Hospital on the body parts, including the head, which had been recovered from bags found in the Grand Canal at Sallins, Co Kildare, on Sunday and Monday.
The body parts were handed over to Dr Curtis after forensic tests were carried out on the bags on Monday night.
Checks for fingerprints and other clues to the identity of the killers are also being carried out on a motor, which, gardaí believe, is a component part of the tool used to dismember the body.
It was discovered in a bag found at the weekend in the Royal Canal, near Carton House, in Maynooth.
Searches were extended by gardaí yesterday from where the two finds were made near the canal bridge in Sallins back into Osberstown as officers combed through fields and checked outhouses and disused sheds on land adjoining the water.
Gardaí have not yet established a firm motive for the gruesome murder.
But they think it is likely that Mr O'Brien (33), a father-of-one, became involved with a crime gang, through an intermediary, when he returned from Australia last month.
It is understood that Mr O'Brien had built up substantial savings while working in Australia. Gardaí are looking at the possibility that he may have been approached to invest some of his money in a financial deal involving the criminals.
Officers said it was possible that he might not have known the full background to the deal and then sought the return of the money, resulting in a row.
Gardaí believe Mr O'Brien met his killer by arrangement after he left his home at Lealand Road in Clondalkin at 7am last Friday week, January 15.
He had told his partner the previous night that he intended to travel down the country for work. Gardaí have yet to establish whether he was collected as he left his estate or used public transport.
Supt Gerry Wall last night renewed an appeal to anyone, who might have seen Mr O'Brien since the early hours of Friday week, to contact them at Leixlip station, 01 6667800.