DRUG dealer Christopher Gaffney may have been killed over suspicions he was a "grass".
Two major lines of enquiry have emerged as gardai probe the 37-year-old's gruesome murder.
Detectives are now looking at the possibility that he was targeted because gangsters suspected he was supplying gardai with information about other criminals.
They are also investigating the possibility that he was killed as part of an ongoing feud linked to the murder of another young man whose body Gaffney is suspected of helping to dispose of.
The Herald can reveal that the thug was "in fear of his life" from a criminal gang who wanted to kill him over suspicions he was a "grass".
At an unreported court hearing this year it was claimed Gaffney "grassed" on a drug addict in his early 40s, who was part of a gang Gaffney was involved with in the sale of heroin.
Gaffney expressed concerns in court that he would be considered a "grass" and was subsequently in danger.
Security sources said Gaffney was not a Garda informer but the court case is one definite line of investigation.
Yesterday, detectives completed their search for the heroin dealer's remains.
His head – which may have been decapitated – remains missing.
The main line of enquiry detectives are probing is whether a dangerous criminal from Finglas murdered him over a bitter dispute which has been going on since 2010.
Gaffney was previously arrested by detectives probing the murder of a young man whose body was dumped in a field but he was not charged in relation to the crime.
The case cannot be outlined here for legal reasons.
The criminal who is being investigated for the murder is closely linked to notorious Finglas gangland brothers Alan 'Fatpuss' and Wayne Bradley who are both serving lengthy jail sentences for a botched cash-in-transit robbery.
The suspect is very well known to gardai and has been linked to a number of armed robberies.
Gaffney's arm was discovered in a wooded area at The Mayne in Clonee, Co Meath, on Friday evening by two hunters who were shooting pheasant on the first day of the season.
His torso and other body parts were found in a black bin bag on Saturday as forensic officers, sniffer dogs and Garda divers searched a stream in the area close to the IBM factory.
The victim was reported missing by his sister almost four weeks ago but he had not been seen for almost a month before that.
Gardai believe that his remains were in the Co Meath field for up to seven weeks and that he was murdered at another location before his body was dumped.
He may have gone undiscovered for longer had an animal not discovered his remains and taken one of his severed arms into an adjoining field.