Search underway for gun used in brutal shooting of Kenneth O’Brien

Kenneth O'Brien
Kenneth O'Brien

A major search operation is underway for the gun used in the brutal shooting and dismemberment of Kenneth O’Brien after the dramatic arrest of two suspects in the case.

More than a dozen Gardai were involved in the search operation centered on a pond off the Athgarvan Road in the Curragh, Co. Kildare, which began hours after two men were arrested by officers probing the January murder.

The men – aged in their 30s and 50s – were arrested yesterday morning and detained under Section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act, 2007 at Leixlip and Naas Garda Stations.

Both can be held for seven days.

It’s understood both were personally known to the murder victim.

One of the two is understood to be known to Gardai for involvement in the drugs trade, while the second was not known to Gardai for involvement in crime previously.

Mr O’Brien’s dismembered torso was found dumped in a suitcase over a fortnight ago from the Grand Canal, near Ardclough, Co Kildare, while his head and limbs were discovered in follow-up searches at Sallins.

The investigation into the brutal murder is continuing, with two Garda officers flying to Australia to inquire into Mr O’Brien’s life during his three years there before he returned home to west Dublin last month.

The funeral of Mr O’Brien during the week

Gardai have followed up more than 300 lines of inquiry arising from the grotesque killing of the 33 year old.

High among the lines of inquiry are whether Mr O’Brien had been either laundering cash or providing the pair with money for their sophisticated trafficking network when a dispute broke out.

Detectives are now satisfied that Mr O’Brien’s murder was well planned and his killers did not panic when they dumped his remains at different locations in the Royal and Grand Canals.

There were heart-breaking scenes on Wednesday last at a packed service in St Matthew’s Church, Upper Ballyfermot, west Dublin, as Kenneth was laid to rest.

Many mourners were overcome when the deceased’s four-year-old son Charlie cried out for his “da da” as the remains were being taken from the church for burial.

One of the offertory gifts was a photograph of the boy driving his father’s digger and another of Mr O’Brien with the family’s dog, Jake.

During the ceremony Fr Joseph McDonald said the love Mr O’Brien had for his family “was the only headline that mattered”, even though the details of his killing and the aftermath had “made the headlines in the news”.

“He was a man who should be defined and remembered for the way he lived life, and not for how he died,” he added.

Mr O’Brien’s remains were taken from the service in Ballyfermot to Newlands Cross Cemetery for burial.