DNA tests fail to link suspect to decade-old crime

GARDA hopes of charging a suspect for a gangland murder in Waterford over ten years ago have been dashed after DNA tests failed to link him to the crime.

The 40-year-old man was arrested last week at Dublin Airport, more than 10 years after the murder of small-time drug dealer, Martin Nolan, in November 1999.

The suspect had fled the country two days after blood and brain tissue were found in Clondonnell Woods, near the Tipperary border.

A shot had been heard just before the find.

Nolan, a father of two, from Tramore, outside Waterford city, had disappeared days before the discovery and two days before he was due in court to face charges of supplying thousands of euro worth of drugs.

It wasn’t until the following July that partially-burnt human remains were found on a makeshift pyre in the woods. It took a further four months of tests before the remains were formally confirmed as that of Nolan.

Gardaí suspect he was shot because he did not have the money to pay his gang bosses for the drugs seized.

One man, Gary Penkert, 37, from Waterford city, was subsequently charged with perverting the course of justice and withholding information in connection with the murder.

Last Thursday week, gardaí arrested a key suspect for the shooting after he got off a flight from the Netherlands and questioned him for three days.

They took DNA samples and hoped they would be linked to samples from the scene and the remains, but this did not happen.

The suspect is understood to be still visiting family in Waterford.


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