Police in the Republic of Ireland have identified a human arm, found on Dollymount Strand last November, as belonging to a convicted rapist.
The man was named last night as 46-year-old James Nolan, of Fairlawn Road, Finglas, in west Dublin. He has not been seen since he was released from Portlaoise jail last November after serving a three-year sentence for a burglary in Booterstown, south Dublin, in 2005.
Nolan was arrested for the burglary as a result of fingerprints taken 19 years earlier when he was detained for the rape. He was jailed for 14 years in 1988 for the rape and false imprisonment of a woman.
Gardai said last night that his disappearance after his release from jail had not been notified to them and he had not been listed as a missing person.
Last night, officers were trying to contact members of his family to inform them of the find.
The limb was found on the beach on February 8 last. As part of their inquiries, gardai sought international co-operation from other police forces through the Interpol network.
As a result of assistance from British police, a DNA match was made recently which confirmed that it was Mr Nolan's arm.
Investigators acknowledged last night that they had no information yet on the circumstances surrounding his disappearance, when exactly he went missing and whether he had been killed.
One officer said their inquiries could now become more focused as a result of the positive identification through the DNA tests on the arm.
During Nolan's trial for burglary, the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that it was a fingerprint taken from him when he first went into custody in the 1980s that led to his arrest for the later offence.
The court was also told that he had other previous convictions for larceny and road-traffic offences.
Judge Katherine Delahunt noted that a probation report had shown a high risk of re-offending due to Nolan's use of alcohol and drugs.
She said that she had taken into account his "significant previous convictions" and the fact that he had twice opted for trial before pleading guilty.
But she said he would be given limited credit for not putting the victim of the burglary through the ordeal of a trial.
The judge suspended the final 18 months of the sentence and imposed 12 months' probation. She also ordered him to undergo alcohol and drug treatment.