The victim, Noel Winterlich, was found dead in the kitchen of a house in a quiet area of Celbridge on Tuesday night. He appeared to have suffered serious trauma to the head.
A local man, aged 26, who was in the house when gardaí arrived just before 9pm, was arrested and brought to Leixlip Garda Station for questioning.
The body of Mr Winterlich, who lived in the Hazelhatch part of the town, remained at the house in Willowbrook Park, where he was pronounced dead by a doctor at 10.30pm.
Dr Michael Curtis, the deputy State pathologist, arrived at the scene yesterday morning and carried out a preliminary post- mortem.
The body was removed to Naas General Hospital for a full postmortem during the afternoon, the results of which were not released due to operational reasons.
Gardaí said Mr Winterlich went to the house to socialise with friends. They suspect that a drink-fuelled row may have broken out.
The deceased, a father of two, was originally from Walkinstown, in south Dublin. Mr Winterlich was thought to have been recovering from a long drug addiction and had up to 60 convictions.