Thursday 14 December 2017

Gardai hunting for the remains of rapist find leg part in lough

Rapist James Nolan was decapitated and his body dismembered
Rapist James Nolan was decapitated and his body dismembered

Gardai have recovered part of a decomposed leg as they continue their search for the remains of convicted rapist James Nolan.

It was discovered by the Garda Water Unit after an extensive search of Lough Na Glack, in Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan.

It is the latest body part discovered by gardai.

The Herald previously revealed that officers were launching a new investigation into the circumstances surrounding Nolan's grisly death.

Detectives were made aware of a 21-page letter, written to the rapist's family, in which details of his murder were outlined.

The note disclosed how Nolan was killed in Glasnevin cemetery and that his remains were chopped up before being scattered in various parts of the country.


Gardai said they have not yet formally identified the latest find and that inquiries were ongoing.

The state pathologist has been notified and the area where the body part was found has been sealed off pending a forensic examination.

The shocking case of Nolan's murder came to light when one of his arms was washed up on Dollymount Strand in 2011.

It is thought it was thrown into the River Tolka and washed out to sea.

In April, gardai recovered the torso of the sex offender after a search of the Tolka Valley Park in Finglas.

The discovery was made by officers who were working with specially trained dogs.

Detectives are working on the theory that Nolan was strangled by his killer, who then cut off his fingers before dismembering the body and completely severing the head.

It is believed Nolan knew his killer.

The inquest into his death, which was held in February 2015, heard that one of his arms was found by a man walking his dog in February 2011.

State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy told the coroner that after Nolan was killed, his arm was "cleanly" severed with a sharp knife.

His tattoos were then cut from the skin.

Nolan was last seen collecting methadone from the Wellmount Clinic in Finglas on November 30, 2010.

He was jailed for 14 years in 1986 when he was convicted of rape and false imprisonment.


The rape is considered one of the most savage to have been committed in Ireland.

The court heard how the victim was brutally attacked in front of her partner.

Nolan had been missing since shortly after being released from Portlaoise Prison, having served a three-year sentence for burglary in Booterstown, south Dublin, in 2005.

Sources said the rape incident is being considered as a possible motive for Nolan's gruesome murder.

Other motives have also been investigated, including a cash row that Nolan was involved in.

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