A friend of MEP Luke 'Ming' Flanagan has been found strangled and dumped in a quarry.
A post-mortem on the body of Adrian Folan (41) has revealed that he was strangled in a frenzied attack before his body was dumped in water at a quarry at the Cliffs of Moher, near Liscannor, Co Clare.
Sources said that a suspect under arrest has confessed to gardai that he killed the man whose body was found yesterday hidden under a pile of rocks in a quarry.
The murdered man was a friend of Independent MEP Luke 'Ming' Flanagan who posted an appeal for information about him on his Twitter account on Saturday.
Mr Flanagan was not available for comment when The Herald attempted to contact him yesterday about the case.
Mr Folan was last seen alive in Athlone Town in Co Westmeath last Thursday at around 11.40pm.
It is believed he was killed within 12 hours after he went missing. Gardai suspect that he was not murdered at the Co Clare location where his body was found.
Gardai appealed for information on Sunday about Mr Folan, who was a mature student at the Institute of Technology in Athlone.
However, sources have revealed that by this stage, officers had already built up a detailed picture of what had happened to Ireland's latest murder victim who is originally from Carraroe, Co Galway.
The Herald has learnt that a man who is aged in his early 40s and also from Carraroe who is well known to the victim informed a family member over the weekend that he had killed Mr Folan. This person then contacted gardai who arrested the suspect in Co Galway early yesterday morning.
Sources say that the suspect told officers that he had killed Mr Folan and he then gave gardai a detailed description of where they could find his body.
Acting on this information, gardai made the grim discovery at the quarry close to the Cliffs of Moher yesterday morning.
Meanwhile the suspect, who was heavily intoxicated when arrested, continued to be detained at Mill Street Garda Station in Galway city last night and a decision on whether to release or charge him must be made today.
Mr Folan, who had no criminal convictions, had been working on an end-of-year project with some classmates.
It is believed that he suffered his fatal injuries during the course of a brutal row.
Gardai were first alerted when Mr Folan failed to turn up at the college on Friday morning and concerns about his welfare grew throughout the weekend.
As part of the investigation, a house in Co Galway was sealed off and technically examined yesterday.
A source told the Herald: "This investigation is now being treated as murder - Mr Folan died a brutal death."