Monday 18 December 2017

Gardai seal off park in search for dad's body

Tom Brady and Brendan Farrelly

Gardai have sealed off a large public park as they carry out a detailed search for the body of a young Dublin man, who has been missing since last July.

Acting on intelligence, gardai are looking for the remains of 21-year-old Paul Byrne, a father of one, who was last seen alive outside his home at Kilmartin Green, Tallaght, on July 15.

The search has led to another heartbreaking ordeal for his mother, Ashley Dempsey, who earlier this month waited anxiously as gardai attempted to establish the identity of remains found in the Dublin Mountains.

At the time of that discovery, officers believed the remains were likely to be that of either Mr Byrne or Ken Fetherston who disappeared in Tallaght in September.

The remains were identified as belonging to Mr Fetherston and a post-mortem confirmed that he had been murdered. Gardai believe he was killed by thugs, who did not want to pay back a loan of around €10,000 that Mr Fetherston had given them out of a compensation award arising from an accident.

Mr Byrne's mother returned to her home to pray for further information about her son's disappearance.

The family were informed yesterday of the fresh intelligence and the decision to carry out the search of Corkagh Park, which adjoins the Naas dual carriageway in Clondalkin.

The park is hugely popular with residents from a wide area and Dublin county council agreed to shut it down while the search was under way.

It is likely to last a few days with specialist search teams, armed with sophisticated equipment, brought in to comb the vast area.

It is expected that the garda underwater unit will also be deployed to check the lake in the centre of the park.


Mr Byrne disappeared after two men called to his house and he got into their wine-coloured Mitsubishi Carisma car, which was then driven out of the estate.

His mother, Ashley, later issued an appeal for help in finding him as she was worried about his safety.

"He wouldn't do anything like this. It's just so out of character," she said.

Gardai are investigating local reports that some of his acquaintances had been involved in a gang that was in dispute with a rival group in the area.

There are fears that he could have been singled out by the rivals because of his association with them even though he was not involved in the row.

Irish Independent

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