NewsCrime Desk

Body found in woods believed to be missing criminal Philip Finnegan

Philip Finnegan
Philip Finnegan

A body found in a shallow grave in rural Kildare this week is believed to be that of a Dublin criminal who disappeared last month.

Philip Finnegan (24), from Aikenhead House, Dublin 8, went missing Wednesday August 10.


Gardai believe  he was killed by associates of jailed gang boss Brian Rattigan.

Detectives had been working on the theory Finnegan was abducted by people known to him and killed before his body was dumped in Rahin Woods on the Kildare-Meath border around 8km outside Edenderry, Co. Offaly.

Gardai had already being carrying out searches in the area when a local person was out walking their dogs in the woods made the grim find of a body around 8.30pm on Friday night.

Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster visited the site yesterday and gardai suspect the body is that of Finnegan.

Gardai already intensified a search operation in the area this week before the body was found.

There were workers cutting timber in the forest on the night of Finnegan’s disappearance.

“It looks like they either panicked or were amateur in what they were doing because the body was only partially buried and was always going to be found,” said a source.

The woods have been the site of a number of illegal raves in recent times.

Gardai have identified two criminals known to Finnegan who they suspect may have been involved in his death and are extremely hopeful of bringing charges in the case.

Gardai received information that two people known to Finnegan who were in prison at the same time as him may have been involved in his disappearance.

They are investigating whether he was killed after falling out with associates of Rattigan who said he owed them money.

He previously escaped death when a gunman opened fire at him and Owen Gaffney in a drive-by shooting on Lower Basin Street in July 2013.

Five shots were fired in the incident but neither man was injured.

In December that year Finnegan was caught up in a bloody brawl when two rival groups met by accident in McDonald’s on Grafton Street.

Later that day a hatchet was thrown through the front window of his home at Mary Aikenhead House but no complaint was made.

Last year he was acquitted of firearms possession after a semi-automatic handgun capable of firing blanks was found during a raid of his home.