| 4°C Dublin

Savage rapist was butchered in 'cash dispute'


James Nolan

James Nolan

James Nolan

It is suspected that a convicted rapist who was savagely murdered and cut into pieces was killed by a man in a row over money, the Herald can reveal.

An inquest this week heard that Finglas man James Nolan's arm was found washed up on Dollymount Strand in the capital on February 8, 2011.

State Pathologist Prof Marie Cassidy told the hearing that the 46-year-old's arm was "cleanly" severed post-death using a very sharp knife, and tattoos had been cut from the skin.


Nolan had been missing since shortly after he was released from Portlaoise Prison in November 2010 having served time for burglary.

In 1986 he was jailed for 14 years when he was convicted of rape and false imprisonment.

The rest of Nolan's body has not been recovered and the cause of his death is unknown. The jury returned an open verdict.

Sources say that it is extremely unlikely that anyone will ever be charged with his murder, but that the dangerous criminal, who is very well known to the murder victim, is the chief suspect in the case.

It is understood that Nolan received a cash windfall after his release from prison but he refused to help out his former associate financially and a major row occurred.

The suspect is a notorious criminal who, like Nolan, has spent much of his life in jail for offences such as armed robbery, serious assaults and drug offences.

The criminal who is now aged in his late 40s has also come to garda attention for firearms offences in recent years.


James Nolan's inquest heard this week that Nolan's arm was found by a man out walking his dog.

Gardai said identification was confirmed using a DNA sample taken from the arm which matched a DNA profile on a UK police database.

Prof Cassidy said tattoos appeared to have been removed to prevent identification of the limb.

There was no evidence of any bleeding or blood loss into the tissues, indicating that Nolan was dead when the cuts were made.

The limb had been in the water for days "if not weeks", Prof Cassidy said.

The rest of his body had not been recovered.