Hunt for missing head of criminal dumped in field
THE head of drug dealer Christopher Gaffney is still missing after his murder.
Gardai have found most of the 37-year-old’s remains and today called off a search near Clonee, Co Meath.
It is believed Gaffney’s body was cut into eight pieces before being dumped around seven weeks ago. A torso and other body parts were found in a black bin bag as sniffer dogs and garda divers searched a stream near Clonee.
However, the search for his head continues as gardai are satisfied it is not in this location.
Meanwhile, gardai are probing links between the gruesome killing and a bitter criminal dispute that has been ongoing since 2010.
“This looks to be a personal issue rather than a drugs one,” explained a source.
Gardai suspect that a criminal from Finglas murdered Gaffney as part of a feud linked to the death of another young man whose body was also dumped in a field.
Gaffney was not a suspect for that murder but is thought to have helped with the disposal of the body.
The criminal who is being investigated for Gaffney's murder is closely linked to the family of the young man, whose case cannot be outlined for legal reasons.
The suspect is also a pal of notorious Finglas gangland brothers Alan ‘Fatpuss' and Wayne Bradley who are both serving lengthy jail sentences for a botched cash-in-transit robbery.
He is very well known to gardai and is a suspect for a series of armed robberies.
A major investigation into Gaffney's death was launched on Friday night after his arm was discovered in a wooded area by two hunters on the first day of the hunting season.
He was reported missing by his sister almost four weeks ago but had not been seen for almost a month before that.
Gardai believe that his remains were in the field for up to seven weeks and that he was murdered at another location before his body was dumped there. His remains might have remained undiscovered for longer had an animal not taken one of his severed arms into an adjoining field.
A senior source told the Herald: “This guy was a career criminal but he was not a big player on the organised crime scene. He was a heroin addict who was involved in a number of disputes.
“It is ironic that his remains ended up dumped in a field after he was involved in doing that to someone else.”
Gaffney escaped a previous assassination attempt with minor gun wounds in the late 1990s.
He should be in prison now but serious firearms charges against him were dropped after a successful constitutional challenge against the warrants used in the search that led to the seizure of a stolen shotgun and ammunition.
He had been charged with having 18 rounds of 22”-long rifle calibre Remington ammunition under his control.
The incident took place at a storage yard at Newpark, The Ward, on August 26, 2010.
He was further accused of possession of a stolen double barrel sawn-off shotgun and having five Fiocchi buckshot cartridges but the case collapsed.
Gaffney's most serious conviction dates from October 2001, when he was jailed for five years for heroin dealing.
The court heard that he used a bicycle to travel daily from his East Wall depot when supplying his regular staff of drugs sellers in the O'Connell Street area.
On that occasion, he also forfeited IR£23,640 cash found by garda in his Caledon Road, East Wall premises.
He told garda he made IR£1,800 profit from one ounce of heroin and around IR£3,600 profit weekly.
He said he would sometimes bring two batches daily to his regular sales people.