Body found in Co Wicklow forest
Gardaí searching for missing Co Wicklow man Philip O’Toole have discovered a body in woodlands near Rathdrum.
The body was found in ravine in Trooperstown Wood at about 10.55am following a tip-off.
The dead man was found fully clothed with severe injuries. Gardaí believe he was murdered and his body was dumped in the woods.
Deputy State Pathologist Dr Khalid Jabbar carried out a preliminary examination of the scene this afternoon. The body has now been removed to St. Columcilles’ Hospital in Loughlinstown, Co Dublin, for a postmortem examination.
The O'Toole family, who last Monday made an emotional appeal for information on the missing man's whereabouts, were notified of the find.
The father of one, whose 33rd birthday was last Monday, had not been seen since leaving the house he was sharing with friends in Arklow on January 7th.
Mr O’Toole, who had a string of convictions, was shot in the stomach in August 2011 in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, as part of a feud. He had also been warned by gardaí recently that his life was in danger.
In March 2008 he was jailed for four years for illegal possession of a shotgun. He claimed when caught by gardaí he was holding the gun at the behest of a person he was in fear of and that he was about to dispose of it when it was seized and he was arrested.
He has also been convicted of cocaine possession, trespassing with intent to burgle and possession of stolen goods, as well as a number of public order offences.
He was last seen outside a house he was sharing with friends at Meadow’s Lane, Arklow, on Monday, January 7th, at about 5pm. He drove his metallic blue BMW three series car northwards towards his family home in Bray and spoke by phone to his partner, the mother of his seven-month-old son, shortly before 7pm.
However, Mr O’Toole never arrived at his family home at Thornhill Road in Bray and gardaí were notified of his disappearance on Tuesday, January 8th. The BMW was later found parked on Dargle Road.