Sunday 19 November 2017

'I am responsible for killing Kenneth', accused tells gardai

Gardai at the scene where the torso of Kenneth O'Brien was found at the Grand Canal in Co Kildare (Collins)
Gardai at the scene where the torso of Kenneth O'Brien was found at the Grand Canal in Co Kildare (Collins)
Kenneth O'Brien

A Dublin man has appeared in court charged with the murder of Kenneth O'Brien (33), whose dismembered body was found dumped in the Grand Canal.

Paul Wells (48) told gardai after caution: "I am responsible for killing Kenneth and I gave a true account of what happened."

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

Mr O'Brien's torso was found in a suitcase a day after he was reported missing, with more body parts found later in bags in the canal.

Judge Anthony Halpin remanded him in custody, to appear in Cloverhill District Court next Thursday.

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.

Gda Sgt Gerard Moore of Leixlip Garda Station told Judge Halpin he arrested the accused for the purpose of charge at Naas Garda Station at 4.53pm yesterday.

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.

Mr Wells, wearing a blue hooded top over a black t-shirt, black trousers and white runners, did not address the court during the brief five-minute hearing.

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.

Passers-by found his torso in a suitcase floating in the Grand Canal near Celbridge, Co Kildare, the following afternoon.

Follow-up searches led to the discovery of other body parts in bags further along the canal near Sallins. DNA analysis matched the body parts to Mr O'Brien.

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.

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