Lake skeleton identified as missing teen ‘Happy’ Kelly

A MURDER investigation was launched by gardaí in Clare and Limerick last night after DNA tests showed that the skeleton found in a lake in Co Clare over a week ago was that of Richard “Happy” Kelly.

It is the third murder investigation gardaí in the Roxboro district have begun investigating in just over two weeks. Gardaí are investigating the murders of Jeffrey Hennan, 19, and retired army corporal Stephen O’Grady, 45, who died as a result of vicious assaults in Southill and Ballinacurra Weston.

Richard Kelly, 17, was last seen alive in April 2006 and it was feared that he was abducted by a drugs gang in Southill where he lived with his mother Mary.

Happy Kelly was known to gardaí as a joyrider but was not into serious crime.

It is believed he fell foul of a local drugs gang when he stole a car in which they had stashed drugs.

He was last seen in a car being driven at Daly’s Cross which is located about 20km from the lake in which his remains were discovered 10 days ago.

A fisherman who was out on a boat on Lake Bridget discovered the skeletal remains after his net became snagged. Garda sub aqua divers recovered a complete corpse the following day.

A tracksuit bottom found in the lake also matched those worn by Happy Kelly when he went missing.

Superintendent Tony Kenneally who heads the Killaloe Garda district confirmed a cement block and a rope were found in the bed of the lake near to where the skeleton was discovered.

A British psychic, Denis McKenzie, travelled to Limerick three weeks ago having offered to help in the search.

Mary Kelly said at the time he became very agitated when he travelled to east Clare carrying personal belongings of her missing son. She said Mr McKenzie told the family his body had been deposited in a lake in Co Clare. Mr McKenzie had turned up some astonishing information following the disappearance in Soham in Britain of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.

Superintendent Frank O’Brien, head of Roxboro Garda District in Limerick, said last night that gardaí in Limerick and Clare would be holding a meeting late last night to discuss how the investigation should progress.

The teenager’s uncle, Turlough McNamara, said “at least now his mother Mary can face Christmas knowing that she can give her beloved son Richard a Christian burial and be able to grieve and visit his grave”.

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