Trevor Deely dig: Gardaí find gun as search for body on derelict site gathers pace
Officers unearth gun in painstaking trawl of Chapelizod site
Gardaí have uncovered a gun in the search of derelict land following a tip-off about the final resting place of Trevor Deely.
It is understood the firearm was located yesterday by officers searching the scrubland in Chapelizod following fresh information from an informant.
Mr Deely was just 22 when he disappeared following a night out in Dublin city centre almost 17 years ago.
Gardaí say that information suggesting that his body had been buried in a three-acre site at Chapelizod was being treated as credible.
It came from a source that had been assessed by officers before a decision was made to carry out a search of the area.
Last night, the Irish Independent learned that the gun had been recovered on the site, in what could be the most significant development in the case yet.
It is not yet clear whether the weapon is in any way linked to the disappearance of Mr Deely. A battery of tests will be conducted on the firearm as the greater search of the area continues.
Gardaí said they could take several weeks and leave no stone unturned in the search of the derelict land for the body of the missing man. Officers have divided the search area in Chapelizod into four separate zones.
They have been slowly working their way to the area which was identified as Mr Deely's grave by the informant. Gardaí have vowed to pursue the lead with every effort and are hopeful it could produce a result - with the operation expected to take at least a fortnight and possibly much longer.
However, officers are aware many other leads have been checked out fully during their inquiries since Mr Deely disappeared in December 2000, without yielding any success.
"This is a line of inquiry that has to be fully pursued until we are satisfied we have made every effort with it and there is a chance that it could produce a result," one officer said.
Gardaí pointed out they had no evidence, at this stage, to say that he had been murdered.
Mr Deely, a Bank of Ireland worker, was last seen in the early hours of December 8, 2000, in the Haddington Road area of the city centre.
The last known images of him were captured by a CCTV camera at the junction of Haddington Road and Baggot Street at 4.14am.
A man dressed in black, who gardaí believe also spoke to Mr Deely outside his place of work minutes previously, can be seen following him in the direction of Haddington Road.
This footage was only made public earlier this year after a specialist unit, set up in Pearse Street garda station to review the case, secured improved CCTV images.
The individual who has given information to gardaí has not supplied any motive for the alleged murder of Mr Deely.
It has been claimed that he was killed after having an interaction with a criminal on the morning of his disappearance.
It is understood that the source of the latest information in the case was not influenced by the offer last April of a €100,000 reward.
Officers also said it was not linked to any leads that had been examined in the past.
As the dig got under way this week, the continuous flow of gardaí entering the sealed-off woodland in Chapelizod marked just how extensive their recent search has become.
Heavy excavation machinery has also been posted at the site in recent days.
Timeline of Trevor Deely's disappearance
Thursday, December 7, 2000: Trevor Deely finishes work at Bank of Ireland Asset Management at Leeson Street Bridge and goes to Copper Face Jacks nightclub, on Harcourt Street, with colleagues.
Friday, December 8: Trevor and his friends go to Buck Whaley's, on Lower Leeson Street. He leaves the nightclub at 3.25am.
3.30am: Trevor arrives at his office and is seen speaking briefly to a man believed to be taking shelter there. Gardaí want to speak to this man after CCTV footage was enhanced. Trevor enters the office and logs on to his computer. He has a cup of tea with a colleague who is working the night shift.
4am: Trevor leaves his office with a bank umbrella as it is raining heavily at the time.
4.06am: Trevor rings his friend Glen Cullen, who is asleep in Naas, Co Kildare. He leaves a voicemail telling him he will call later.
4.14am: Trevor is recorded on CCTV walking past Bank of Ireland, at the junction of Haddington Road and Baggot Street Bridge. This is now a pizza restaurant. His back is to the corner of this junction. Enhanced footage shows a man walking a short distance behind him. Gardaí are investigating if this is the man seen speaking briefly to Trevor at 3.30am. This is the last sighting of Trevor.
April 2017: In the years since Trevor's disappearance, his family have made numerous appeals for information. In April of this year, a €100,000 reward was offered for information. His family issued an emotional plea for a man seen talking to Trevor on the night he vanished, in December 2000, to come forward.
August 2017: It was announced gardaí were to begin digging at a site in Chapelizod, some 8km from where Trevor was last seen.