herald

Monday 23 April 2018

'It's just sickening. I'll never forgive the killers for what they've done'

The sister of a murdered drug dealer has appealed for his missing head to be returned for burial.

Brave Rachel Gaffney (32) called on her brother's killers to contact a helpline or a priest and say where his head can be found.

She said her deeply traumatised mother should be allowed have a proper funeral with the complete remains of her son Christopher.

Speaking to the Herald at her home in Dublin's north inner city, Rachel said: "I'm afraid that this will kill her – not knowing where his head is."

The 37-year-old's dismembered body was found in a field near Clonee, Co Meath earlier this month. But despite an extensive search, his head has yet to be found.

The mother-of-two said her brother's brutal murder had wiped out any thoughts of celebrating Christmas this year.

 

FAMILY

 

"WE DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT WAY TO BURY HIM OR WHAT PLANS TO MAKE BECAUSE OF THE WAY HIS BODY WAS LEFT. SO CAN SOMEONE TELL THE FAMILY. WE DON'T WANT ANYTHING FOR CHRISTMAS. WE WANT CHRIS BUT THAT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

"But can we, at least, be told through anyway possible of where the rest of him is so we can give him peace. And give the family peace and have a (funeral) service like any other person," she said.

She appealed for anyone who had information to bring the killers to justice to contact gardai.

And she called for longer prison sentences to be imposed for "intentional murder".

She wants as many people as possible to watch the RTE Crimecall programme next Tuesday when gardai will reveal further information.

"People are scared but I'm not scared. I'm gonna stand up for my brother. I'm not scared. They can't do any worse to me than what they've done to my brother.

"But I don't believe in a life for a life. It's very important to get that across because it will never bring Christopher back.

"He's gone now and I think he's in a better place," she said.

She spoke of her anger at his faceless killers.

She said: "I won't forgive them for what they done, I don't know if I can some day. He didn't deserve it.

"I think that people should get longer in prison for murder, for what happened to Christopher.

"The intentional murder and the cutting up of his body and the removal of his head. It's just sickening," she added.

Rachel spoke of warm memories of her brother when she was growing up in Blanchardstown.

"The memory I have is fitting into his size 10 shoes when my feet were so small. The brother I remember is the one who would put sweets under my pillow," she said.

She said Christopher went to live with her during the last three months of his life after he was the victim of a violent attack at his home in Blanchardstown.

The attack left staples in his head and a V-shaped deep scar on his forehead.

She said her brother was like "the walking wounded", depressed, addicted to tablets such as Xanax, and suffering fits and seizures.

Rachel said her Christopher had a lot of unhappiness as a child.

In the early years, their parents and the three children lived in Howth in a big old rented house.

The marriage ended and their mother and the three children moved to Blanchardstown. Her mother had a new relationship and had more children. Their father eventually moved to England.

Christopher began to get into trouble and later became involved in dealing drugs which led to him being jailed for five years.

"I always defended him, stood up for him. In ways it was like he was still a child," she said.

"For him, it was always 'the past, the past.' Him and me da would clash because he wasn't there for us.

 

SPECULATION

"I know me da was scared for Christopher. He wanted to try and get him out of the country."

There was speculation that a motive for his murder was his possible involvement in the disposal of the body of murdered teenager Daniel McAnaspie (17) in Blanchardstown in 2010.

Rachel declared that her brother had "taken no part" in anything concerning the teenager's death. Yet, the allegation "stigmatised and stayed with him", she said.

hnews@herald.ie

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