herald

Sunday 11 December 2016

Garda's son is suspect for gruesome stab murder of criminal dumped in woods

Philip Finnegan was stabbed to death in Rahin Woods
Philip Finnegan was stabbed to death in Rahin Woods

A garda's son is a suspect in the gruesome gangland murder of a criminal who was stabbed multiple times before his body was dumped in a shallow grave in a remote forest.

The Herald can reveal shocking new details about the brutal slaying of Philip Finnegan (24), whose body was found in remote woodland near Carbury in Co Kildare on September 2.

Finnegan was last seen alive at his home at Mary Aikenhead House, James Street, in Dublin's south inner city, on August 10, and detectives quickly got information that he was lured to his death by another criminal he trusted.

It has emerged that this suspect is the son of a garda, who is aged in his 30s and has been involved in serious crime for over a decade.

Extreme

"He has a reputation for extreme and reckless violence and has links to a number of very serious criminal groupings," a source pointed out.

Gardai have been working on the theory that the reason for the murder is a bitter cash argument that Finnegan had with jailed killer Brian Rattigan, which led to Rattigan's mob deciding that the 24-year-old had to be killed.

It is suspected that a major 39-year-old Drimnagh criminal, who is considered Rattigan's right-hand man and has convictions for firearms and robbery offences, was tasked with "organising" the brutal murder.

It is believed this gangster then enlisted the garda's son, who knew Finnegan. It is suspected that Finnegan and the garda's son travelled from Dublin to Rahin Woods in Co Kildare.

"Finnegan was collected by this individual whom he knew and trusted and it seems the victim thought that they were on their way to do a job on another criminal, but in reality he was walking himself into a trap," a senior source said.

"It is believed when they got to the woods, there were a couple of other Dublin criminals waiting for them and Finnegan was brutally stabbed to death.

"It seems he may have put up a fight for his life because when the garda's son was interviewed by detectives before Finnegan's body was actually found, he had a stab wound which it is suspected happened during the violent melee in the woods," the senior source explained.

At the early stages of the investigation into Finnegan's murder, gardai learned that his killers appeared to have tried to burn his body.

He was also buried in a shallow grave in the remote woods, suggesting that his killers may have panicked or been inexperienced, according to sources.

Appeal

There have been no charges so far in the case, which is being investigated by Leixlip gardai.

Finnegan had been involved in a number of gang-related incidents, including in August, 2012, when five shots were fired at him and his pal, Owen Gaffney (26), at Lower Basin Street.

Neither man was injured and both refused to co-operate with the garda investigation into the shooting.

A year earlier, Finnegan had given evidence in the trial of four gardai who were accused of assaulting Owen Gaffney but were later cleared.

In December 2012, a hatchet was thrown through the window of Finnegan's home just hours after a violent disorder incident between two gangs had taken place at McDonald's restaurant in Grafton Street.

In January of last year, Finnegan was cleared of firearms charges at Dublin Circuit Court after a judge ruled that gardai used a threat to induce him to confess to being the owner of a firearm found in a box of toys in his bedroom.

He had pleaded not guilty to unlawful possession of a blank firing semi-automatic pistol at his home on March 14, 2013.

In an appeal earlier this month, Chief Superintendent Barry McPolin said Finnegan's life was "snuffed out" in the isolated woods.

"We're determined to get to the bottom of it," he said.

"He was known to gardai, but obviously that does not excuse the manner in which he died or indeed why he died."

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