Human remains confirmed as belonging to murdered Drogheda teenager

Discovery follows large search operation last month

Human remains found during a massive search operation in Drogheda last month have been identified as belonging to a 17-year-old who was murdered last year.

It is believed the Drogheda teenager was kidnapped and murdered by gangland criminals before being dismembered. Parts of the body were found in two locations in early 2020, shortly after he went missing.

The torso had remained missing until last month when, acting on intelligence, gardaí began searching a greenfield site near Rathmullen estate in the Co Louth town.

Over the course of two days, a large search team, including Garda divers checking the drainage system and the Garda dog unit, combed the site before discovering the partial remains. The remains were in a badly decomposed state and there appeared to have been an attempt to bury them. It is understood they may have been damaged by animals.


DNA tests

They were identified as human the next day and DNA tests were ordered to confirm their identity. It is understood the results came back this week confirming the remains belonged to the 17-year-old.

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.

Gardaí hope the discovery of the remains will advance the investigation in the boy’s murder. The remains are expected to be returned to the boy’s family for burial. A funeral was held for the teenager in early 2020.

Gardaí believe the boy was murdered in a house in Drogheda in early 2020 as part of a gang feud. In early 2020 his limbs, head and hands were found in Dublin.

A Garda spokesman confirmed on Thursday the remains have been identified but declined to say if they belonged to the 17 year old. The location of the torso came after several failed searches in various locations. Gardaí believe they have now located all of the body parts.

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

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher is Crime and Security Correspondent of The Irish Times