Man arrested over Kenneth O'Brien canal murder is detained further

One of two men arrested in connection with the murder of Kenneth O’Brien, whose dismembered body was found in a canal, has had his period of detention extended by a judge for a second time.

The man, who is in his 50s, can now be held for questioning until tomorrow — a full week since his arrest.

A second man, aged in his 30s, who was also arrested last Saturday was released without charge yesterday and a file in relation to him is being prepared for the DPP.

Mr O’Brien, 33, from Clondalkin, Dublin, was murdered sometime on the night of Friday-Saturday, January 16-17, and his body dismembered and dumped.

His torso was found on the Saturday afternoon in a suitcase floating in the Grand Canal at Ardclough, Co Kildare. Follow-up searches led to the discovery of other body parts in bags further along the canal near Sallins.

DNA tests matched them to Mr O’Brien who had been reported missing by his family on the Saturday. His funeral was held last week.

Since then gardaí have also begun searching a landfill at Ballynagran near Wicklow town for the remaining missing body parts.

Their inquiries have also led them to a house in north Dublin which was sealed off for forensic examination following information that Mr O’Brien may have been there prior to his death.

Mr O’Brien, who was the father of a young son, had been working in Australia for extended periods in recent years but had returned at Christmas and hoped to be back for good. He worked as a JCB driver and told his partner he was “going down the country” to work on the Friday he disappeared.

He had no known involvement with criminals and no prior convictions apart from motoring offences. Gardaí believe he may have been shot after a relatively minor dispute got out of hand but also sent detectives to Australia to see if any of his activities there could have made him a target.


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