Saturday 24 August 2019

Missing man (56) was abducted and tortured before being beaten to death, gardaí believe

Called off: Gardaí ended search for William Delaney
Called off: Gardaí ended search for William Delaney
Hunt: Gardaí and Defence Forces at the Rock of Dunamase, Co Laois, during their search for William Delaney, who went missing on January 31. PHOTO: COLIN KEEGAN, COLLINS DUBLIN

Ken Foy

Gardaí believe a man, feared murdered after he went missing five months ago, was beaten to death and tortured after he was abducted from a Co Kildare street.

Last night, gardaí called off their search for the body of William Delaney (56), who they suspect was murdered just days after he left a psychiatric hospital in Portlaoise on January 31.

Two suspects remained in Garda custody last night.

Both were known to Mr Delaney, including an 18-year-old woman and her boyfriend, a heroin addict aged in his 30s who is well-known to gardaí.

The man is being detained at Portlaoise garda station while the teenager is being questioned at Tullamore garda station.

Detectives suspect the criminal, who was released from jail days before Mr Delaney was allegedly abducted and killed, is his killer and the teenage female has key information about the alleged murder.

The missing man was accused of a serious assault against a young female known to him before he disappeared, as well as other allegations.

Mr Delaney had gone missing before officers had time to question him about the allegations.

"Gardaí believe this man was abducted and murdered by people known to him before there was ever a chance to question him about the allegations.

"It is suspected he was picked up off the street and driven to his death," a senior source said last night.

Mr Delaney was not reported missing until early March - over five weeks after he was last seen alive.

A senior source said the case was "very complex" and gardaí are still attempting to establish the circumstances surrounding Mr Delaney's disappearance and suspected murder.

It is understood the man in custody is alleged to have made 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 allegations against Mr Delaney - is suspected of withholding information in relation to the suspected murder of William Delaney.

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 spot has been the scene of Garda searches this week with the help of the Defence Forces.

The search started last Tuesday after a member of the public came forward and claimed William Delaney had been assaulted and buried near the area.

However, searches have now been suspended pending a review of the case.

"One thing is for sure, gardaí have been dealing with a lot of lies in this case.

"It is very difficult but there is no chance that this man will show up alive," a senior source said.

Irish Independent

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