Wednesday 22 November 2017

Woodland body parts hunt stood down

Gardai search woodland at the Mayne in Clonee, west Dublin
Gardai search woodland at the Mayne in Clonee, west Dublin

A major search of woodland where the dismembered body of a convicted criminal was discovered has been officially stood down.

As detectives launched a full murder inquiry into the death of Christopher Gaffney, a senior Garda source confirmed a final body part had been recovered from a stream at The Mayne in Clonee, Co Meath.

Specialist crime scene investigators, cadaver dogs and Garda divers spent three days scouring the area where a severed arm was initially discovered on Friday.

Drug dealer Gaffney had been murdered, chopped up and dumped at the scene, where additional remains, including a torso, were then uncovered on Saturday.

Investigators identified them as those of the 37-year-old from Blanchardstown by matching fingerprints on the Garda database.

"Another limb was found at around mid-morning today," the source said.

"It, like the other parts, was fairly deteriorated given the amount of time it was in the water."

Gaffney, who was heavily involved with criminality and well known to gardai, was reported missing by his family last month.

Detectives probing his murder have appealed for anyone who may have spoken to him in the last two months to come forward.

Meanwhile, the Garda source confirmed the final part recovered was removed from the scene and taken to Connolly Hospital.

Deputy State Pathologist Dr Khalid Jabbar will conduct a full post-mortem examination of all the remains together.

The source said investigators were satisfied the woodland area and stream near the IBM factory had been thoroughly searched.

"Specialist teams have spent three days combing the area and feel they can do no more," he said.

"They are satisfied the search was thorough and there is nothing left to find so it has been officially stood down."

The three-day operation wrapped up at around 4pm today and detectives must now wait for the post-mortem results.

But gardai believe the victim suffered a gruesome death before his body was chopped up and dumped.

As the murder inquiry gets under way, with detectives interviewing Gaffney's family, friends and associates, gardai urged witnesses to come forward.

They have appealed for anyone who may have seen any suspicious or unusual activity involving people or vehicles over the past number of days or weeks, in the Kilbride or The Mayne area, close to the Porterstown Road in Clonee, to come forward.

Press Association

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