New PSNI tests urged over dissident’s mystery death
A coroner at the inquest of a man whose body was discovered in a canal in 2005 has urged the PSNI to use modern forensic techniques to establish the circumstances of his death.
Armagh man Gareth O’Connor vanished in May 2003 while making his way to Dundalk Garda station.
His whereabouts remained a mystery until his remains were found in his car which was dumped in a section of Newry Canal almost two years later in June 2005.
Despite extensive forensic tests it has yet to be established how the 24-year-old died.
The dead man’s family or police have so far been unable to say who was responsible, although suspicion has been pointed at republicans.
Mr O’Connor made the trip to Dundalk Garda station as part of bail conditions after he was charged with Real IRA membership.
At a preliminary hearing in Belfast yesterday, Coroner John Leckey said it was important that the PSNI apply the most up-to-date forensics in trying to unravel the mystery of how the father-of-two died. Mr Leckey said that “exhibits” recovered from the dead man’s car, including two mobile phones, could also be be subjected to fresh forensic examination.