Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan yesterday urged people with information on the “gruesome” murder of Kenneth O’Brien to come forward.
Her appeal came as gardaí extended search operations from the scene where Mr O’Brien’s torso was found — along the Grand Canal in rural Co Kildare — to his west Dublin home, where he lived with his partner.
Mr O’Brien, aged 33 and a father of a four-year-old son, told his family last Friday he was “going to carry out some work down the country”.
The torso of the 1.87m man was found wrapped in plastic inside a suitcase floating on the canal at Ardclough village on Saturday afternoon. Witnesses had seen the suitcase earlier that morning and gardaí suspect it may have been dumped there overnight on Friday.
Speaking yesterday, Ms O’Sullivan conveyed her sympathies to the O’Brien family and said it was “obviously a very gruesome murder”.
She said: “What I’d like to do is take the opportunity to appeal for anybody who may have any information, no matter how small they might think or how unimportant they might think the information is, we’re very anxious to hear from anybody who might have any information they can offer in helping us to identify the perpetrator of this awful crime.”
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said that it was a “most distressing case”.
“It’s shocking, distressing and incredibly sad for the family,” she said.
The Garda investigation team is gathering CCTV in the area around Mr O’Brien’s house, in the Lealand area of Bawnogue in Clondalkin, to try and determine which way he might have travelled and endeavour to spot him again along those possible routes.
Given that his remains were dumped in Ardclough, located between the main arteries of the N7 (Dublin to Naas) and the N4 (Dublin to Lucan), it is possible that he may have driven, or was transported, on those roads.
Investigators examined Mr O’Brien’s home for any clues as to where he might have been going or who he was going to meet.
They also began the process of talking to people who knew him or had any contact with him to piece together what was going on in his life.
Gardaí said that Mr O’Brien had returned from a three-year stay in Australia last month, where he worked in construction and drove heavy machinery.
He looked for work on his return home.
Senior officers are so far perplexed as to who would kill him and who would have the mentality and means to dismember him.
Gardaí have already appealed to employees and employers, as well as housemates, to contact them if equipment or rooms in premises or dwellings were disturbed over the weekend.
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