A HUMAN skull found in a drain may belong to a person only quite recently deceased.
The skull was uncovered near Malahide in Co Dublin by workmen preparing a field for vegetable growing.
Gardai were called to the field at Waterside when the men made the grisly find on Wednesday evening.
Initially, gardai speculated that the skull might have belonged to a person who lived in the distant past.
But sources indicated last night that the remains may belong to a person who was alive in the past year or two.
An examination revealed the skull belonged to an adult male. There is no indication yet of the cause of death. The main garda focus is now on finding the rest of the body.
It is hoped that clothing could be found in the area which could help identify the person and the cause of death.
The skull was not buried but was uncovered lying in the drainage ditch.
The possibility that the skull could belong to a person who was reported missing in recent years has not been ruled out. However no family has approached gardai following the find.
Searches continued in the area yesterday.
Staff at the State Pathologist office were contacted and detectives were also in contact with forensic anthropologist Dr Laureen Buckley.
The land is close to the Waterside estate which is near the M1 motorway. Residents watched as search activity continued yesterday.