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'Death house' is searched in butchered dealer probe

Gardai have carried out a forensic examination of the house where they believe a murdered drug dealer whose head is still missing was stabbed to death.

Experts spent hours yesterday at the property on the Ashmount estate in Blakestown, west Dublin, as the net on Christopher Gaffney's killers continues to close.

His head and part of one foot are still missing as the investigation into the most gruesome gangland murder of the year gathers pace.

Earlier this week, the Herald revealed that the 37-year-old whose mutilated body parts were found in a field in Clonee, Co Meath, was murdered because he was selling heroin on the sly to the sister of two west Dublin drug dealers after she tried to kick her habit.

A senior source said: "The young woman had tried to give up drugs and had even had detailed rehab treatment, but Gaffney continued to sell the stuff to her when she got out.

"When these two fellas found out they went absolutely mental.

"He had already been in a long-standing cash dispute with them which was linked to an incident in which eastern European criminals tried to break into his house a couple of months before he went missing."

While a cause of death has not been established, gardai believe Gaffney was stabbed.

They have dismissed a theory that he was killed by being pulled apart by two cars after his arms were tied to them.

During the week, Gaffney's sister Rachel (32) appealed for his killers to return his head.


She said: "We don't even know what way to bury him or what plans to make because of the way his body was left."

The mother of two said the murder had wiped out any thoughts of celebrating Christmas.

"We don't want anything for Christmas, but can we at least be told where the rest of him is so we can give him peace, and give the family peace?" she said.

It is understood Gaffney was butchered almost six weeks before his arm was found by hunters three weeks ago.

Detectives are satisfied he met a grisly end in a property in the Blakestown area.