Man may have been strangled before being buried under rock pile

Gardaí believe that a computer programmer, whose body was discovered yesterday, was murdered several days ago and dumped under a load of rocks in a quarry.

A man known to 41-year-old Adrian Folan was still being questioned by gardaí in Galway last night.

Detectives are believed to be working on the theory that he was driven to the remote location before being strangled.

Mr Folan was a postgraduate student and computer programmer from Connemara who had been missing since late last week. He was originally from the Carraroe area of south Connemara and had been completing an MSc in software engineering at Athlone Institute of Technology when he went missing.

Described by friends as “very talented and extremely bright”, he had previously graduated with a first-class honours degree in commerce from NUI Galway.

During his student days, he had worked part-time in a Galway city pub. He had moved to Athlone several months ago to take up the opportunity of a one-year postgraduate programme which was run by ICT Ireland in consultation with technology multinational, Ericsson. Gardaí last week issued an appeal for information about his whereabouts.

He was last reported seen at about 11.40pm in Athlone last Thursday night. At the time, gardaí said they were concerned for his welfare.

Early yesterday morning, gardaí from Galway went to a house in the south Connemara village of Carraroe and arrested a man in his forties. He was taken to Mill Street Garda Station where he was detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.

A subsequent search by gardaí of the quarry near the north Clare village of Liscannor revealed his body. He had apparently been “buried” under the makeshift rock pile.

But gardaí believe that he was strangled before being left in the quarry.

As part of their investigation, gardaí also searched a dumping area on the Headford Road outside Galway city. The house in the village of Carraroe was also sealed off for forensic examination.

State pathologist Professor Marie Cassidy arrived at the quarry in Co Clare yesterday and carried out an initial inspection before the remains of Mr Folan were removed to the Mid Western Regional Hospital in Limerick. A postmortem examination was due to take place last night.

Gardaí last night appealed for witnesses who may have seen anything unusual or suspicious in and around the quarry at Kilconnell, Liscannor, Co Clare, since July 3 to contact them. An incident room has been set up Ennistymon Garda Station (065-7072180).


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