Locals express shock and grief after 'disgusting' Grand Canal murder

Locals express shock and grief after 'disgusting' Grand Canal murder
Members of the Garda sub aqua unit at the scene where a body was found

Locals in Clondalkin in Dublin say they are shocked at the violent murder of father-of-one from the area.

Kenneth O’Brien was dismembered and his body was dumped in a canal in a suitcase.

The 33-year-old man was reported missing on Friday, and his torso was found by passers-by in the Grand Canal near Celbridge, Co Kildare, on Saturday afternoon.

His death may have been because of a disagreement.

He has been described as a man who adored his family and worked hard to provide for them.

People who live near his Clondalkin home expressed their shocked at his death.

“I can’t comprehend it,” said a local man.

“I can’t understand people, going to extremes like that. I don’t know what’s going on in their minds.

Another said: “It’s such a tragedy. It’s quite a disgusting death for anybody to get.”

Kenneth O’Brien had recently returned from Australia and was last seen in the early hours of Friday when he left his home on the Lealand Road in Clondalkin saying he was going to work.

Kenneth O’Brien
Kenneth O’Brien

Mr O’Brien was identified using DNA analysis after his killers decapitated him and cut off his hands, arms and feet.

Superintendent Gerry Wall described the victim as a normal man going about his business and looking for work.

The murder squad investigating his disappearance, murder and the dumping of his body have no indication why he was killed, the senior officer said.

“It is a particularly gruesome crime and the brutality of it could not be overstated,” Supt Wall said.

Gardaí reiterated their appeal for the public’s help in the case.

Officers urged people to check buildings to see if there is anything unusual, including if a room or equipment was disturbed or if the premises are in any way different from when they left.

Gardaí have already had more than 80 calls as they worked to identify Mr O’Brien but again appealed for anyone who was in or around the Grand Canal near Ardclough on Friday and early Saturday to contact them.

Detectives said they are keen to speak to anyone who may have observed, seen or had any contact with Mr O’Brien since the early hours of Friday morning when he left Lealand Road in Clondalkin or can assist in tracing his movements.

The dark-coloured suitcase containing the dismembered body was pulled from the water 500 metres from Ardclough, beside the Lyons Estate, on a stretch of towpath popular with walkers and cyclists.

It is believed Mr O’Brien was murdered elsewhere.

He had worked as a JCB driver in Australia and it is understood he left his Clondalkin home saying he was leaving for work.

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