Golf club body is that of a hillwalker

Conor Feehan

GARDAI probing the discovery of a body near a Dublin golf club believe the man died as a result of natural causes.

The discovery of the body near Brittas Co Dublin last night sparked an immediate reaction by detectives investigating the disappearance of 20-year-old Paul Byrne, who vanished from his Tallaght home last July.

But the remains are now believed to be of a man in his 50s who may have died of natural causes while walking at the weekend.

Hillwalkers made the find near Slade Valley Golf Club at around 8.30pm.

A preliminary investigation led gardai to believe the body had not been there for more than a few days, and efforts to identify the man got under way.

Paul Byrne's mother Ashley Dempsey was told the body was not that of her son Paul, who disappeared after getting into a car outside his house on Kilmartin Green in Tallaght last July 15. Paul is believed to have been murdered and his body dumped, but there have been no clues despite searches by his family and gardai.

There had been hope that his body had been found when remains were discovered in the Dublin mountains near Kilakee at the end of January.

For two days Paul's family, and the family of another missing Tallaght man, Ken Fetherstone, waited for identification. The body was identified as that of Mr Fetherstone, and a murder investigation was launched.

The body found last night was said to have no signs of injury, and gardai suspect the person died of a heart attack.

A post mortem was due to be carried out today.