Man charged with murder of Kenneth O'Brien appears in court

Paul Wells
Paul Wells

A 48-year-old Dublin man charged with the murder of Kenneth O'Brien, whose dismembered body was found in a suitcase in a canal, has been further remanded in custody.

Paul Wells from Barnamore Park, Finglas, Dublin will face his next hearing on March 16th at Cloverhill District Court.

JCB driver Kenneth O'Brien (33) from Lealand Road in Clondalkin in Dublin was reported missing on January 15th after he had left his home telling family members he was going to work.

Kenneth O'Brien

The father-of-one had recently come back from Australia where he had been employed for three years.

The following day his torso was found in suitcase by walkers at the Grand Canal near Cellbridge, Co. Kildare.  Investigating gardai carried out a search operation resulting in other body parts being found in bags in the canal. DNA tests confirmed the remains were those of Mr O'Brien

Last Friday, Paul Wells was charged with the murder of Kenneth O'Brien on or about January 15th and 16th. The murder is alleged to have occurred at the defendant's address. 

He was remanded in custody and faced his second hearing today when he appeared before Judge Patricia McNamara at Cloverhill District Court.

Family and friends of Kenneth O’Brien were present for the brief five minute hearing this morning.

Garda Sergeant Gerard Moore of Leixlip ststion told the Judge Patricia McNamara that bail "was not an option" in the district court as it can only be dealt with at the High Court.

A book of evidence has yet to be prepared; Paul Wells was further remanded in custody for another four weeks.  

Dressed in a blue hooded top and grey bottoms, he told his barrister he would like to appear via videolink at his next hearing.

A second man arrested in connection with the investigation was released from Garda custody without charge last week and a file is to be sent to the DPP.