Judge wants action on the body-in-canal investigation

A judge has asked the DPP to progress the case of a 48-year-old Dublin man charged with the murder of Kenneth O’Brien, whose dismembered body was found in a suitcase in a canal.

Paul Wells, from Barnamore Park, in Finglas, is accused of the murder of Kenneth O’Brien, in January. He will face his next hearing on June 22, at Cloverhill District Court, Judge Victor Blake ordered. The judge added that he hoped for progress in obtaining formal directions from the DPP.

The case file has been with the DPP as of Wednesday morning and it contains 13 volumes. Mr Wells, wearing a grey hoody and grey tracksuit bottoms, would not consent to appear via video link at his next hearing.

“As I said, I’ll start my clock running. It’s step one of three. I’m hoping for progress on that day,” the judge told Garda Sgt Gerard Moore. Mr O’Brien’s partner, and a large number of friends and family, were there for the appearance.

JCB driver O’Brien, aged 33, from Lealand Rd, Clondalkin, Dublin, was reported missing on January 15, after he had left his home telling family members he was going to work. The father of one had recently come back from Australia, where he had worked for three years.

 Gardaí in Janueary searching for the body of Kenneth O’Brien, inset, whose torso was found in asuitcase in the Grand Canal near Celbridge, Co Kildare. Picture: Brian Lawless
Gardaí in Janueary searching for the body of Kenneth O’Brien, inset, whose torso was found in a

suitcase in the Grand Canal near Celbridge, Co Kildare. Picture: Brian Lawless

On January 16, his torso was found in a suitcase by walkers at the Grand Canal, near Cellbridge, in Co Kildare. Investigating gardaí carried out a search, and other body parts were found in bags in the canal. DNA tests confirmed the remains were those of Mr O’Brien.

In February, Wells was charged with the murder of O’Brien, on or about January 15 and January 16 last. The murder is alleged to have occurred at the defendant’s address. He was remanded in custody and faced his seventh hearing, yesterday, when he appeared before Judge Blake, at Cloverhill District Court.

Due to the nature of the charge, he would have to make a bail application in the High Court. A second man was released from garda custody without charge and a file is to be sent to the DPP.


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