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Kenneth O'Brien murder probe: Paul Wells charged over canal body killing

Published 12/02/2016

The dismembered body of Kenneth O'Brien was found in a suitcase dumped in a canal (Garda/PA)
The dismembered body of Kenneth O'Brien was found in a suitcase dumped in a canal (Garda/PA)

A Dublin man has appeared in court charged with the murder of 33-year-old Kenneth O’Brien.

Paul Wells (48) is accused of killing the father-of-one, whose remains were found by passers-by in the canal last month.

Mr Wells was remanded in custody after Dublin District Court heard he replied after caution: “I am responsible for killing Kenneth and I gave a true account of what happened.”

The accused, with an address at Barnamore Park, Finglas is charged with the murder of Kenneth O’Brien on or about January 15 and 16 last.

The murder is alleged to have happened at Mr Wells' home address at Barnamore Park

At a late sitting of the court, Gda Sgt Gerard Moore of Leixlip Garda Station told Judge Anthony Halpin he arrested the accused for the purpose of charge at Naas Garda Station at 4.53pm today.

He charged him at 5.16pm and handed him a true copy of the charge sheet.

No bail application was made on the accused’s behalf by his solicitor Kieran Conway as bail cannot be granted at district court level on a murder charge.

“There can’t be, we have to go to the High Court,” Mr Conway said.

Legal aid was granted after Sgt Moore said the gardai were aware of the accused's financial means.

The accused, wearing a blue hooded top over a black tshirt, black trousers and white trainers, did not address the court during the brief five-minute hearing. Judge Anthony Halpin remanded him in custody to appear in Cloverhill District Court on February 18.

Mr O'Brien's partner sat in the court's public gallery during the proceedings.

Mr O'Brien, a JCB driver, was reported missing on Friday, January 15. He was last seen in the early hours of that morning, when he left his home on Lealand Road in Clondalkin telling his partner he was going to work.

Mr O’Brien had recently returned from Australia, where he had lived and worked for three years.

A second man, aged in his 30s, who was also arrested, was released without charge previously and a file in relation to him is being prepared for the DPP.

Mr O'Brien was a father of one from west Dublin who recently returned from living in Australia.

He left his home at Lealand Road in Clondalkin at 7am on Friday, January 15, after telling his partner that he was travelling for work.

His partial remains were discovered in mid-January in the Grand Canal at Ardclough, in Lexlip.

A garda investigation ensued in which other parts of his remains were discovered.

Mr O'Brien was buried in his native Ballyfermot, where he had lived with his partner and their young child.

Two people were arrested last Saturday in connection with the killing, but one was later released without charge.

Meanwhile, two investigating officers have also travelled to Australia in a bid to find out more about Mr O'Brien's life there.

He had lived in Australia for three years before returning to Dublin.

Irish Independent

Irish Independent

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