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'Foxes may have dug up' human skeleton found beside south city flats

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Gardai, detectives and a member of the Forensic Anthropology Unit examine the scene where human remains were discovered

Gardai, detectives and a member of the Forensic Anthropology Unit examine the scene where human remains were discovered

Gardai, detectives and a member of the Forensic Anthropology Unit examine the scene where human remains were discovered

GardaI are investigating the discovery of skeletal remains on an area of common ground at a Rathmines apartment complex on Thursday evening.

The find was made by a loc-al resident in the Lissenfield apartments on the thin strip of land that borders a car park.

The site is not far from the Grand Canal and is separated from Lower Rathmines Road by a building.

Disturbed

Gardai were yesterday trying to establish whether the remains had been there for some time and possibly unearthed by animals, or if they were left there more recently.

Works had been carried out in recent months to remove the lower branches from a row of evergreen trees along the strip of land.

The bones, however, app-ear to have been lying on the ground rather than buried.

A forensic anthropologist and a team of detectives arrived at the scene, which was sealed off early yesterday for examination.

Local sources said the bones appeared to be all together, but could not say if they had been disturbed.

Members of the garda technical bureau carried out a forensic examination of the scene before the bones were removed for analysis.

The remains had decomposed to a skeletal state, and there was no evidence of any clothing.

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Gardai at the scene where human remains were discovered at Lissenfield on the Lower Rathmines Road.

Gardai at the scene where human remains were discovered at Lissenfield on the Lower Rathmines Road.

Gardai at the scene where human remains were discovered at Lissenfield on the Lower Rathmines Road.

Neighbours said the bones appeared to be an almost complete skeleton, including an intact skull.

One resident said foxes were common under the trees until they were cut back and the ground exposed.

"The workers dismantled their den, so they're gone now," the resident said.

Local people regularly use the area beside the narrow strip of land for parking and to access a shed where bins are kept.

As part of any investigation into the discovery of human remains, missing persons files will be examined.

The presence of the skull would assist in the identification of the remains through dental analysis.

Establishing the cause of death will be more complicated.

The discovery came only days after skeletal remains were found by people out walking in Swords.

Gardai examined the scene, but after calling in a forensic anthropologist it was later confirmed they dated from the 15th century.

They were found at River Valley Park last Monday when a section of the Ward River washed away part of the bank.

The site is near an old burial ground, and the river has previously thrown up other finds of historical significance.

In 1999, six medieval female skeletons were unearthed from the banks after a skull was seen buried in the mud.

When further excavations took place, an Edward I silver coin from the 13th century was discovered.

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Gardai examine the scene at a tree-lined area close to a block of apartments

Gardai examine the scene at a tree-lined area close to a block of apartments

Gardai examine the scene at a tree-lined area close to a block of apartments