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Garda 'saw ribcage and jaw bone at scene where Elaine's remains found'

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The scene where Elaine O'Hara's remains were found

The scene where Elaine O'Hara's remains were found

The scene where Elaine O'Hara's remains were found

THE first garda on the scene of the discovery of Elaine O'Hara's remains saw a ribcage and jaw in the undergrowth when he arrived, the Central Criminal Court heard today.

Garda Alan Young was dispatched to the scene after the discovery of the remains in the Dublin mountains was reported by the landowner.

He was giving evidence on the fifth day of the trial of architect Graham Dwyer.

Mr Dwyer (42), from Kerrymount Close, Foxrock, is pleading not guilty to the murder of Ms O'Hara (36) at Killakee, Rathfarnham on August 22, 2012.

Ms O'Hara, a childcare assistant from Killiney, was last seen alive near Shanganagh Cemetery in Shankill.

undergrowth

Her remains were found by a dog walker in undergrowth in the Dublin mountains on September 13, 2013, more than a year after she disappeared.

Garda Stephen Kinneavey first gave evidence that he was working in command and control at Tallaght Garda Station when a phone call was received from Frank Doyle, who owned lands at Military Road, Killakee.

He said a lady had found what they believed to be human remains.

Garda Young said he was on mobile patrol with two other gardai when he responded to a call at 7pm that human remains had been found at Killakee forest.

He went to Mr Doyle's house and had a five-minute chat with him and the dog walker who had found the remains, Magali Vergnet.

They went up to a clearing in the forest and Ms Vergnet pointed out a number of bones on blocks.

They then walked about 15 metres into a clearing and he noticed what appeared to be a lower jaw. There was also a rib cage, tracksuit bottoms and a runner lying in the undergrowth.

They walked back to the clearing and cordoned off the area, remaining there until other gardai arrived, ensuring there was no unauthorised access to the area.

In cross-examination, he agreed he had been the "first responder". He did not recall a collar or a rusty knife being pointed out to him.

The court heard Ms Vergnet had earlier given evidence that she saw a collar and a rusty knife sticking into the ground.

Garda Young said he did not remember any mention of a knife. Detective Sergeant Thomas Doyle said he set up preservation of the scene when he arrived. Det Sgt Tom Doyle, of Rathfarnham Garda Station, said he attended the scene about 8pm on the night was body was found.

He said he observed skeletal remains and clothing about 10 to 15 metres behind some concrete blocks in rough terrain.

UNAUTHORISED

He said he preserved the scene and nominated Det Gda Larkin to seal off the area and prevent any unauthorised people from entering the area.

He returned before 8am the following morning with Dr Jim Maloney, who identified the remains as human and pronounced death at 8.10am on Saturday, September 14, 2013.

The detective told the court he returned to the scene later that day with deputy state pathologist Dr Michael Curtis and anthropologist, Dr Laureen Buckley, where they remained for about half an hour.

He was present in Dublin city morgue when a post mortem was carried out the following day.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Tony Hunt and a jury of seven men and five women.

hnews@herald.ie


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