Gardaí hope killers left clues after Kildare woods murder

Gardaí hope the sloppiness of killers in concealing the body of a young man may provide forensic evidence linking them to the crime.

Detectives are confident they know the people behind the murder of Philip Finnegan, whose body was found in a shallow grave in Kildare woodland at the weekend.

The 24-year-old dad, who was reported missing on August 10, was found by a dog walker in Rahin Woods near Carbury on Friday night.

Detectives suspect the man, from Dublin’s south inner city, was killed in a row over money or drugs.

Investigators believe former associates of Mr Finnegan, members of the remnants of the Rattigan gang, were behind the murder.

The gang, named after jailed killer Brian Rattigan, was one of the two outfits in the Crumlin-Drimnagh feud which claimed up to 16 lives between 2000 and 2012.

The Rattigan gang was largely dismantled but officers have pointed to a resurgence in the gang, led by a close associate of Brian Rattigan.

The gang’s base, in the south inner city and Crumlin areas, is the heartland of the Kinahan cartel, leading members of which were on the opposite side of the feud.

There is nothing to suggest any involvement of these members in the murder or that the killers suspected Mr Finnegan was linked to them.

Investigators had feared Mr Finnegan was murdered after he was reported missing from his home at Mary Aikenhead flats complex on James’s St, Dublin 8.

When the body of Mr Finnegan was discovered, he was wearing a bulletproof vest. It is understood a postmortem indicated he had died from stab wounds.

Gardaí are hoping the poor attempt at burial may indicate his killers were rushed or spooked by the possibility of being discovered, and may have left forensic evidence either on the body or at the murder scene.

There was an attempt to set fire to the body and some of the clothing was burnt.

The Technical Bureau continued its search yesterday and was due to finish by dusk. They were looking for the murder weapon and any other evidence.

The investigating team was awaiting the results of the bureau’s work before issuing a public appeal for sightings of people or cars in the area in recent weeks.

Mr Finnegan, who had a conviction for assault, had previously been subject to attacks, including one in July 2013 when he and an associate were shot at on Lower Basin St, near his home.

In January 2015, he was acquitted of firearms charges.


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