Drogheda remains at centre of murder inquiry confirmed as human

‘Search area still sealed off’ in investigation into teenage killing, say gardaí

The partial and decomposed remains found during Garda searching for the torso of a teenage murder have been confirmed as human.

“Following on from searches at Rathmullen Park in Drogheda, partial human skeletal remains have been removed from the scene,” said the Garda on Friday evening. “They have been taken to the Dublin City Morgue in Whitehall where a postmortem will take place. The search area remains sealed off and searches are ongoing.”

However, The Irish Times understands DNA testing would take longer to confirm the remains are those of the boy, who was murdered in recent years before his remains were dismembered. While the rest of the boy’s body was recovered and a funeral was held, the teenager’s torso was not recovered at the time. A large area at Rathmullen Park was sealed off for searching on Wednesday after the Garda investigation team came into intelligence suggesting the teenager’s torso had been discarded or concealed there.

A large search team, including Garda divers checking the drainage system and the Garda Dog Unit, combed the site on Wednesday and again on Thursday, when the partial remains were discovered. Due to legal restrictions arising from a court ruling, the murdered boy cannot be named and other details about the case cannot be disclosed at this time. The searching that has been under way since Wednesday morning included Garda divers entering the drains system on and around the land, which is next to a local authority housing estate, as gardaí­ believe great efforts may have been made to conceal the torso.



That included the possibility it was concealed in the drainage system or buried on the site. Investigating officers wanted to find the body part and return it to the boy’s family for burial with the rest of his remains. However, the criminal investigation continuing into the murder will also be informed by pathology. And the investigation team is hopeful that if the discovery made on Thursday proves to be the torso, then a set of complete postmortem results would be available to investigators and for presentation as evidence in any future court actions.

Gardaí­ investigating the murder and dismembering of the teenage murder victim in recent days have carried out several unsuccessful searches for the boy’s torso in the period since his killing. The team received information several times about the possible location of the torso but before this week searches at those sites had been unsuccessful. The searching this week represented the latest phase of an ongoing investigation during which no arrests have been made.

A total of eight arrests have been made since the murder and two people were before the courts.

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times