Gardai make arrest in Philip Finnegan murder probe

Philip Finnegan
Philip Finnegan

Gardai have confirmed they have arrested a man in connection with the murder of Philip Finnegan.

According to gardai, at approximately 1pm today a man in his thirties was arrested in Portlaoise in connection with the murder of Finnegan in August this year.

He is  detained under the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984 as amended at Leixlip Garda Station.

Finnegan's body was discovered by walkers in woodland near Carbury, Co Kildare on September 2.

It was in a shallow grave and his clothes had been burnt.

Finnegan (24) was reported missing from his home at Mary Aikenhead House in James Street on August 10.

Gardai believe he was murdered shortly after his disappearance.

Finnegan, who had a criminal conviction for assault, had previously been attacked and shot at. He narrowly escaped death when a gunman opened fire on him and his friend, Owen Gaffney (26), of Lower Basin Street in a drive-by shooting in July 2013.

Five shots were fired, but neither man was injured. Both refused to co-operate with the garda investigation.

In December 2013, Finnegan was caught up in a bloody brawl when two rival groups met by accident in a Dublin fast-food outlet.

A hatchet was thrown through the window of Finnegan's home afterward, but the incident was not reported to gardai.

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

He was known to be associated with serious criminals in the south inner city and had been warned about "substantial or severe threats" to his life.

In January last year, Finnegan was cleared of firearms charges at Dublin Circuit Court after a judge ruled that gardai had used a threat of arresting other people to induce him to confess to being the owner of a firearm found in his bedroom.

He had pleaded not guilty to unlawful possession of a blank firing pistol at his home on March 14, 2013.

Gardai found the gun in a box that also contained toys and video games in a bedroom Finnegan shared with his three younger brothers.