NewsCrime Desk

"Machine" used to dismember body found in suitcase

Crime DeskBy Colm Hayes
Remains of murder victim removed from canal
Remains of murder victim removed from canal

A chainsaw or angle grinder may have been used to slice up a murder victim whose torso was found in a suitcase dumped in a canal.

A murder investigation was launched yesterday following the discovery of the suitcase by two walkers, who spotted the bag in the Grand Canal near Celbridge, Co. Kildare, on Saturday afternoon.

Derek Maguire, one of the walkers, initially thought “it was just someone dumping rubbish. That happens sometimes.”

Gardai, who are trying to identify the man in an attempt to located the bloody murder scene, confirmed the gruesome killing occurred no earlier than last Thursday.

Detectives believe that the man, who might be either Irish or Eastern European, had body parts cut off in a horrific attempt to stop him being identified.

One source said: “Wherever it took place there must have been a lot of blood. It would appear the body was dismembered by some kind of machine.

“The killers also appear to be trying to hamper any investigation into the murder by chopping off the head, hands and legs.

“Without those, it makes it much more difficult for investigators to put a positive ID on the victim.”

Officers have ruled out any possibility of the remains being those of missing father-of-one, Barry Corcoran, who vanished from Wicklow last July.

Barry Corcoran

Deputy State Pathologist Michael Curtis carried out a preliminary examination of the torso at the scene ahead of a post-mortem at Naas General Hospital.

The Garda Water-Unit and other Garda search teams scoured the canal and its banks yesterday for clues or any other evidence.

The preliminary investigation revealed the torso was that of a white male, which had been wrapped in plastic sheeting before being forced into the suitcase and dumped in the canal.

It's believed that this plastic may contain vital DNA evidence that could have a link to the killer or killers.

Superintendent Gerry Wall, of Leixlip Garda station, said: "When we attended the scene we found that the suitcase contained a torso. From there we commenced a full murder investigation. From the early evidence and investigation we’re satisfied that this is a recent death.

“The nature of what we’ve discovered would suggest a violent death.”

Another source discounted the theory that this may be a gangland victim as it was “inevitable” that the body would be found.

The source added that the murderer, who may have panicked once the horrendous killing took place, would have been covered in blood and that the area where the body was butchered would have been like a “bloodbath”.

Local resident Anne Acheson told reporters: “How could someone do that and dump their body like a piece of rubbish?

“It doesn’t surprise me the way society is but it’s very sad for the person’s family.”

Supt Wall added: “The importance of witness evidence and people coming forward to assist us in forming the big picture of what may have occurred in this, I can’t over-emphasise the importance of that witness evidence.

“If you walked this canal in the last few days, it’s very important that you come forward.

“It is early, and every avenue of investigation is open.”

Teresa Farrell, another Ardclough local, said the shocking discovery has made residents of the area feel far less safe.

She said: “He’s someone’s son. It’s sad the way the world has gone.

“Someone is responsible for a barbaric crime and I hope they get them.

“It’s very close to where we live and there are children around. Where are we safe?”

Anyone who was in the area of the canal between Kearneystown and Ardclough Bridge between Thursday and Saturday last is urged to call Leixlip Garda Station on 01 666 7800 or any garda station.