Man found dead in Offaly was shot in upper body

Murder investigation underway after Christy Daly’s remains found submerged in water


Gardai have officially upgraded their inquiry into the death of father of six Christy Daly to a murder probe after a post-mortem on his remains revealed he had been shot in the upper body.

The investigating team believes he was most likely killed close the time of his last known sighting of 8.30pm in Tullamore, Co Offaly, on Saturday, December 28th or into the next day.

His body was found submerged in water in a large drain in Co Offaly yesterday. Gardaí believe the remains of the 47-year-old from Clara, Co Offaly, lay for around 10 days in the spot where they were discovered by a Garda search team just before 9am.

Mr Daly had been released from prison on December 7th having served a three-year sentence in Cloverhill and the Midlands prisons.

The post mortem by State Pathologist Prof Marie Cassidy was completed at the Midlands Regional Hospital in Tullamore late last night and found he had been shot several times in the upper body and arm.

While all the resources of a murder investigation had been committed to the inquiry from the time the remains were found, the results of the post mortem have seen the inquiry being officially upgraded.

Gardai have renewed their appeal for witnesses or anyone with information to contact them about the death.

Daly had not been seen since December 29th and, because fears for his safety were growing, a Garda search team went to an isolated spot at Bog Road, Kilbride, Clara, yesterday morning.

His remains were found just before 9am about 100m from a burned-out caravan where he had been living since his release from prison. Gardaí also found two burned-out vehicles at the same spot.

Daly was convicted 14 months ago of the false imprisonment of one of his daughter’s boyfriends and was jailed for six years.

However, three years were suspended and the term was backdated to include the period he had spent in prison on remand, meaning he was released four weeks ago.

He also had previous convictions for assault causing harm as well as robbery and public order offences.

He was questioned some years ago about a series of sexual offences after allegations were made to the Garda. However, while files were sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions, no criminal charges were ever pursued against him arising from those allegations.

The dead man was also involved in a Travellers’ feud in Co Offaly that has resulted in about seven gun attacks in recent months.

The motive for his killing remains unclear, though gardai are trying to establish whether his shooting dead may have be a feud related killing or if he was murdered by somebody as revenge for some of his past crimes.

Yesterday afternoon, as Supt Dave Taylor was making a public appeal for information via media gathered outside Tullamore Garda station, a young woman believed to be Daly’s daughter briefly interrupted.

“Did you get the postmortem results (for) my father?” she asked, before going into the Garda station.

Supt Taylor said the Garda team in Tullamore station investigating the killing believed Sunday, December 29th, and the days leading to it were key to solving the case.

“The body was in a drain, quite a deep drain, about 6ft deep,” he said, adding that the drain was full of water.

“It’s a bog area out there. We have had such inclement weather in the last week it hasn’t made the recovery effort easy.”

He appealed to anyone who might have seen any suspicious or unusual activity at Bog Road, Kilbride Lane, in the days leading up to Sunday, December 29th, or the days since then, to come forward.

The area where the body was found is isolated and surrounded by bog. A small lane leading to the site provides access.

One local man said Daly had “kept a low profile” since returning to the area following his release from prison. According to Independent local councillor Dervil Dolan there was a sense of shock in the Clara community following the killing.

“Clara is a quiet country town and Kilbride is a rural area just outside the town and people from the area are shocked that something like this could happen,” he said.