Gardaí investigating a brutal gangland killing in Limerick have examined the remains of a burned-out car which may have belonged to the murder victim.
The car was recovered on Monday night near the area where the body of 23 year-old Michael Campbell McNamara was discovered dumped in a field off the Fedamore Road on the southside of the city.
A post-mortem examination carried out by Deputy State Pathologist, Dr Marie Cassidy, revealed that the victim had died from gunshot wounds to the body. His hands and feet had been bound and it appears he had been shot a number of times in an 'execution-style' killing.
Michael Campbell-McNamara, who was originally from Southill but had an address at Cherrydale Court, Dublin Road, was well-known to gardai in Limerick. He had close criminal associations with one of the factions involved in a well-publicised bloody feud in the city which has already resulted in three murders.
The victim may have been targeted because of his connections with this gang based in the Island Field area of Limerick. Described as a hardened criminal, it is thought he may also have been involved in a separate violent dispute in the Southill area of the city.
It is understood he had recently left Limerick prison where he had been serving a jail sentence.
Gardaí investigating his brutal slaying say the discovery of a burned-out car on the southside of the city may be significant.
One theory being examined is that Michael Campbell McNamara may have been forced to drive at gunpoint to the isolated spot where he was executed before the car was burned out.
"We can confirm that a car was found burned out. At this stage we can't positively say that it was connected to the victim although we are looking at that aspect," said Inspector Gerry McNamara of Roxboro gardaí.
Gardai are appealing for anyone who was in the vicinity of the Fedamore Road area last Sunday night or Monday morning to contact them at the incident room in Roxboro Garda Station on 061 214 349.
The removal of Michael Campbell McNamara's body takes place tomorrow night) from Cross's Funeral Home to St Mary's Church.
The burial takes place in Castlemungret Cemetery on Thursday following 11am mass.
The launch of the murder inquiry came on the eve of the trial of five men charged with the murder of crime boss, Kieran Keane, at the Central Criminal Court in Limerick. Keane, 36, was shot dead in a similar 'execution-style' killing at Drombana last January barely two miles from the scene of yesterday's grim discovery.
In a sinister twist, the last gangland killing in Limerick - which claimed the life of John Ryan in July - came on the eve of the first-ever sitting of the Central Criminal Court in Limerick.
The area around yesterday's crime scene was sealed off pending the arrival of forensic experts from garda headquarters in Dublin and the Deputy State Pathologist, Dr Marie Cassidy. A post-mortem was due to be carried out last night at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick.
The murder victim's body was dumped just yards from the new multi-million Euro Limerick by-pass road, which is currently under construction. When the man walking his dog discovered the body yesterday morning, he alerted nearby construction workers who were carrying out work on the new road.
"I saw him running up towards us and he was in an awful way. He asked me if I had a phone to ring the guards because there was a body in the field. It's lucky that children are all back at school now or else it could have been one of them who found the body," said one construction worker at the scene yesterday.
It is believed that Michael Campbell-McNamara had recently armed himself with a high-powered weapon which gardai believe could have been used in the ongoing feud.
The Mayor of Limerick, Cllr Dick Sadlier, has condemned the latest gangland killing and called for an end to the spiral of violence.
"This is a particularly brutal murder. It seems to me that this type of barbarity is now becoming almost commonplace and we have to cry halt," he said.
"There must be an end to this spiral of violence and I want to say to those involved that there are only two eventual outcomes to violence of this nature. One is obviously death and the graveyard - and the other - to those who perpetrated this crime - is a very long prison sentence.