NewsCrime Desk

Threatening texts sent to murder victim before grisly killing

Kenneth O'Brien
Kenneth O'Brien

It has been revealed that a series of threatening text messages were sent to canal murder victim Kenneth O’Brien, just days before he was killed and dismembered.

Over 200 lines of inquiry are now being followed in the garda investigation, but reports indicate that a chief suspect has been identified.

Officers are still working on the theory that the brutal murder of Kenneth O'Brien may be linked to a personal grudge, rather than gangland activity.

The 33-year-old, originally from Ballyfermot in west Dublin, was last seen alive when he left his Clondalkin home on Friday morning.

Forensic gardai spent all day yesterday at the property at Lealand Road and they removed a number of items from the house.

A security source told the Irish Mirror that “no gangland violence is suspected.”

The source also revealed that the messages were “threats to do with his personal life and gardai believe they know who sent them.”

The scene at Ardclough after the grim discovery

Sources said yesterday that officers were desperately trying to build a "full picture" of Mr O'Brien's personality and relationships in an attempt to discover how he met such a grim fate.

"This involves taking statements off everyone who knew him and attempting to make contact with anyone who had been speaking with him in recent weeks.

"Everyone who knew Mr O'Brien will have to be looked at closely, that is the nature of this," they said.

"Gardai are not following a definite line of enquiry at this stage, but it is being investigated whether he may have been killed by someone who was well-known to him over a personal grudge."

Mr O'Brien was not known to officers for involvement in serious offences and his only convictions were for relatively minor driving offences a number of years ago.

Sources said that gardai were "unaware" of underworld reports that suggested he may have been targeted by a notorious Clondalkin-based gang over an historical debt.