Monday 19 August 2019

Man feared dead was accused of assault against young female

William Delaney has been missing since January 31
William Delaney has been missing since January 31

Ken Foy and Robin Schiller

A missing man who is feared murdered was accused of a serious assault against a young female before he disappeared.

Detectives in the Midlands were last night questioning two people, including a female teenager, on suspicion of murdering William Delaney.

The 56-year-old has been missing since January 31 and gardaí have been carrying out searches in Portlaoise, Co Laois, this week after uncovering fresh information on his disappearance.

The Irish Independent has learned that a serious allegation of assault was made against William Delaney by a young female before he disappeared. A relative of this female, a male aged in his 30s, was last night being quizzed on suspicion of murder.

A senior source said the case was "very complex" and gardaí are still attempting to establish the circumstances surrounding William Delaney's disappearance and suspected murder. It is understood the man in custody is alleged to have made certain admissions to another family member relating to killing Mr Delaney, something he now denies.

The female teenager in custody - who is not the person who made the allegation against Mr Delaney - is suspected of withholding information in relation to his suspected murder.

Gardaí were made aware of the suspect's admissions by a witness who contacted them.

The murder suspect is alleged to have said he disposed of Mr Delaney's body near the Rock of Dunamase in Portlaoise, which he also denies. The popular spot has been the scene of garda searches this week which will continue this morning with the help of the Defence Forces.

William Delaney was last seen on January 31, after leaving a medical facility in the town.

Yesterday, a garda spokesman said: "This afternoon June 20, 2019, two people, a male in his 30s and a female teenager, were arrested on suspicion of murder by gardaí investigating this missing person investigation.

"They are currently detained under the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984 at Tullamore garda station.

"The search of the area in Dunamase, Portlaoise, will continue tomorrow morning along with the assistance of the Defence Forces."

The disappearance of William Delaney was not initially reported to gardaí and a missing persons appeal was first made in March.

He was described as being 5ft 6in tall, with a medium build, black and grey hair as well as blue eyes. Gardaí said it was not known what William Delaney was wearing when last seen.

Irish Independent

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