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Saturday 16 December 2017

More human remains discovered by gardai in Co Wicklow

The Garda checkpoint on Old Military Road in the Wicklow Mountains, near where remains of a body were found
The Garda checkpoint on Old Military Road in the Wicklow Mountains, near where remains of a body were found
Garda closure at the Sally Gap/Laragh crossroads, Wicklow after human remains are discovered. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Garda closure at Glencree, Wicklow after human remains are discovered. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Garda closure in Glencree, Wicklow after human remains are discovered. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Garda closure at the Sally Gap/Laragh crossroads, Wicklow after human remains are discovered. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Garda closure in Glencree, Wicklow after human remains are discovered. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Garda closure in Glencree, Wicklow after human remains are discovered. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Garda closure in Glencree, Wicklow after human remains are discovered. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Garda closure in Glencree, Wicklow after human remains are discovered. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Garda closure in Glencree, Wicklow after human remains are discovered. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

FURTHER human remains have been discovered by gardai in Co Wicklow today.

The development comes after two other discoveries on Saturday and Sunday.

Today's discovery is believed to be linked to the ongoing investigation.

The remains were recovered by the Garda Water Unit at Glenmacanass waterfall near to the site of yesterday’s discovery, and by Defence Forces personnel at Lough Brea Lower on Military Road.

These are the third and fourth locations respectively where remains have been found.

Both scenes are preserved for forensic examination.

Trawl

Gardai do not know the identity of the person but initial forensic pathology examinations suggest the torso is from a man.

The further pieces of skeletal remains will by examined by the state pathologist's office to determine whether they are from a human and whether they are connected to the first find.

It is understood detectives are trawling missing persons reports, while other tests are being carried out in an effort to determine how long ago the person died.

The search areas have been extended to cover about 30km sq of the national park and mountains, with gardai being supported by members of the Defence Forces.

Torso

The torso was discovered in bushes on the road by a group of people returning from a picnic at around 7.45pm on Saturday.

Superintendent Pat Ward, of Bray garda station, said officers were satisfied the victim died a violent death.

"A local doctor attended the scene. He confirmed, in fact, that the remains were that of a human being," he said.

"At this point, the Technical Bureau has completed its examination of the scene.

"The body was removed for a short period to the Mater Hospital for X-ray and post-mortem... at the city morgue in Whitehall."

Supt Ward said gardaí wouldn't have any further information about the victim until the post-mortem was completed.

Officers have begun a trawl of missing persons files. However, it is understood they believe the victim may have been murdered recently.

"In fact, we don't know the gender of the person at this particular moment in time," Supt Ward said.

"We believe that the person who died came to their death by sinister means.

"It's similar to a murder investigation, the type of investigation we are undertaking is comparable to a murder investigation. We're putting as much resources and effort into it."

Supt Ward said the investigation would be led by the results from the post-mortem.

Parish priest Fr Larry Behan said the find was a tragedy.

"We don't know who it is. We weren't asked to remember anybody in weekend prayers and, as far as I know, no one is missing locally.

"Of course, it's a terrible tragedy," he told the Irish Independent.

The search location is in an isolated area of the Wicklow Mountains. Throughout the day, a steady stream of motorists and cyclists approached Military Road, at Glencree, only to be turned away by a lone garda signalling the road closure.

From the roadblock, there was no visible sign of the widespread searching that was taking place.

At the quiet café in the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation, a few hundreds metres away, most people had no idea about the grim find.

One woman said she had heard the news on the radio in the morning.

"They found something up there, remains or something.

"I don't know anything about it, I just saw that the road was closed," she said.

Supt Ward said gardaí were interested in talking to anyone who used the road, including workers for Coillte, the National Parks and Wildlife Service, or ESB Networks, and might have seen suspicious activity in recent weeks.

Officers can be contacted at Bray garda station on 01-666 5300 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800-666-111.

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