Garda search under way as part of Laois murder inquiry

Last confirmed sighting of father-of-eight William Delaney in Portlaoise, January, 2019

William Delaney is the subject of a murder investigation.

William Delaney is the subject of a murder investigation.

 

Gardaí were on Monday searching a house in Co Laois as part of their investigation into the disappearance of a middle-aged man two years ago, which has since been upgraded to a murder inquiry.

William Delaney (56) went missing in Portlaoise, Co Laois, in January 2019, but was not reported missing for another six weeks. The married father-of-eight had taken time away on his own in the past, meaning his absence did not cause concern initially. The last confirmed sighting of Mr Delaney, who was originally from Co Tipperary bit was living in Portlaoise at the time he disappeared, was in the Co Laois town on January 31st, 2019.

While his case was treated as a missing persons inquiry for several months it was subsequently upgraded to a murder investigation. Gardaí­ believe Mr Delaney was killed by a person known to him over a personal matter and a suspect has been identified. After receiving information that he had been tortured, murdered and then buried in a shallow grave near the ruins of Dunamase Castle outside Portlaoise, gardaí­ and the Defence Forces searched there in June, 2019, but found nothing.

Arrests in June of 2019

The Irish Times understands the information that search was based upon came from a teenage girl who claims a man known to her confessed to the murder. That information came to the attention of the missing man’s family who passed it on to the Garda.

While a man in his 30s and a teenager were arrested in June, 2019, for questioning about the murder, both were released without charge and the investigation has continued. On Monday the Portlaoise search was ongoing into this evening.

“Gardaí­ are currently carrying out a search operation at a house in Fieldbrook area of Portlaoise,” said the force. It added that “these searches remain ongoing and as such no further information is available at this time”.