A VICIOUS rapist was likely kidnapped and tortured before having his arm hacked off and dumped in the sea.
Detectives have confirmed the arm found on Dollymount strand belonged to career criminal and sex offender James Nolan (46), released from prison last November.
"Someone had it in for Nolan. It looks like he suffered a horrendous death.
"His arm was hacked off at the shoulder and his fingertips cut off to hamper identification," said a source.
The case is now being treated as a murder inquiry and officers were trying to trace the location where Nolan was tortured and mutilated before being killed.
He wasn't seen since he was released from Portlaoise jail after a three-year sentence for burglary in Booterstown in July 2005.
He was caught as a result of fingerprints taken from him 19 years earlier when he was detained for rape.
He was jailed for 14 years in 1988 when he was convicted of rape and false imprisonment of a woman in 1986.
Nolan, of Fairlawn Road, Finglas in west Dublin was not listed as a missing person as his disappearance was not notified to gardai. His parents have passed away and his family in Finglas have not seen him.
Today his family did not want to comment on the gruesome discovery.
The limb was found on the beach on February 8 and as part of their inquiries gardai sought international co-operation from other police forces through the Interpol network.
As a result of assistance from British police, a DNA match was made recently and confirmed that it was Nolan's arm.
During his trial for burglary in 2009, the circuit criminal court heard a fingerprint taken from him when he first went into custody in the 1980s led to his arrest for this offence.
He had convictions for larceny and road traffic offences.
Judge Katherine Delahunt noted a probation report had shown a high risk of reoffending due to Nolan's use of alcohol and drugs.
But she said he would be given limited credit for not putting the victim of the burglary through the ordeal of a trial.
She suspended the final 18 months of the sentence and ordered him to undergo alcohol and drug treatment.