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Torso found in canal was 33-year-old man from west Dublin

Published 19/01/2016

Kenneth O'Brien, whose body was dismembered and dumped in a canal in a suitcase
Kenneth O'Brien, whose body was dismembered and dumped in a canal in a suitcase

A murder victim whose body was dismembered and dumped in a canal in a suitcase was a 33-year-old man from west Dublin.

Kenneth O'Brien was reported missing on Friday, and his torso was found by passers-by in the Grand Canal near Celbridge, Co Kildare, on Saturday afternoon.

He had recently returned from Australia and was last seen in the early hours of Friday when he left his home on the Lealand Road in Clondalkin saying he was going to work.

Mr O'Brien was identified using DNA analysis after his killers decapitated him and cut off his hands, arms and feet.

Superintendent Gerry Wall described the victim as a normal man going about his business and looking for work.

The murder squad investigating his disappearance, murder and the dumping of his body have no indication why he was killed, the senior officer said.

"It is a particularly gruesome crime and the brutality of it could not be overstated," Supt Wall said.

Gardai reiterated their appeal for the public's help in the case.

Officers urged people to check buildings to see if there is anything unusual, including if a room or equipment was disturbed or if the premises are in any way different from when they left.

Gardai have already had more than 80 calls as they worked to identify Mr O'Brien but again appealed for anyone who was in or around the Grand Canal near Ardclough on Friday and early Saturday to contact them.

Detectives said they are keen to speak to anyone who may have observed, seen or had any contact with Mr O'Brien since the early hours of Friday morning when he left Lealand Road in Clondalkin or can assist in tracing his movements.

The dark-coloured suitcase containing the dismembered body was pulled from the water 500 metres from Ardclough, beside the Lyons Estate, on a stretch of towpath popular with walkers and cyclists.

It is believed Mr O'Brien was murdered elsewhere.

He had worked as a JCB driver in Australia and it is understood he left his Clondalkin home saying he was leaving for work.

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