The body of a man found in woods in Co Kildare has been confirmed as that of a Dublin man believed to have been abducted from his home almost a month ago.

Philip Finnegan, aged 24, vanished from his inner-city flat on August 10 after a number of run-ins with a criminal gang to whom it is believed he owed money.

His partially buried remains were discovered last Friday evening in Rahin Wood on the Kildare-Meath border by people walking in the area.

It was immediately clear the victim had suffered a violent death, but gardaí said details of the autopsy, completed yesterday, would not be revealed for operational reasons.

Mr Finnegan’s disappearance last month very quickly gave rise to fears for his life, as he was known to have gotten on the wrong side of serious criminals, possibly associated with jailed drugs boss Brian Rattigan, who is serving a life sentence for murder, as well as a 17-year term for heroin importation.

He had already been targeted along with another man, Owen Gaffney, in a drive-by shooting in 2013. He escaped without injury, but later had a hatchet put through his window.

Mr Finnegan was tried last year for possession of a firearm after a gun was found during a search of his family home, but the case was dismissed when the judge ruled gardaí had put pressure on him to take responsibility to spare his younger brothers being arrested.

As a teenager, he had given evidence in court in support of Owen Gaffney in the trial of four gardaí accused, but later cleared, of assaulting Mr Gaffney.

There were also reports that he suffered an assault in Dublin a short time before he was last seen alive.

It is thought he was killed within hours of his abduction and gardaí had already begun searches in the vicinity of Rahin Wood when his body was found. The scene remains sealed off for forensic examination.

The murder investigation is being run from Leixlip Garda Station, where Inspector Paul Dolan said: “Investigating gardaí are appealing for information and in particular to anyone who visited Rahin Wood near Carbury, Co Kildare, during the month of August to come forward.”


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