A SECOND manhunt is under way by gardai investigating the sinister kidnapping of dad-of-one Ciaran Noonan who officers now fear has been murdered.
Detectives are desperately trying to find a north Dublin man who had been living in Navan, Co Meath, for the past couple of years - and they believe that he may have been directly involved in the abduction of Mr Noonan.
"This man is known to gardai - he has not been seen since Mr Noonan was abducted. We believe that he has key information about what has happened," explained a source. "He has links to serious criminals based in the north Dublin area."
The new development came as gardai continued to question a woman in her mid-20s who was arrested in Blanchardstown at lunchtime yesterday and was held in Store Street Garda Station for questioning.
She is also understood to have important information about the kidnapping.
The car used in the abduction was discovered by gardai in the basement car park of an apartment complex at Killegland, Ashbourne, Co Meath, on Saturday evening.
Gardai believe it arrived there at about 8pm on Thursday, some three hours after Mr Noonan was taken.
The vehicle, registration number 05D88805, was a very distinctive model, gardai said, with rear spoiler, spoked wheels and tinted windows.
The Herald has previously revealed that the criminal who is suspected of ordering the beating and kidnapping of Mr Noonan is a notorious drug dealer who also has a conviction for manslaughter.
Nothing has been heard from Mr Noonan since he was brutally attacked and bundled into the back of the black Volkswagen Golf on Thursday last week after visiting his aunt's house in the East Wall area of Dublin.
It is understood that Mr Noonan was targeted because he owes a notorious Swords-based drug dealer €20,000.
Officers have been working on the theory that this dealer then paid a gang of youths to attack and abduct Mr Noonan.
Ciaran was abducted from Russell Avenue East, off the East Wall Road, shortly after 4.30pm on Thursday.
He had been walking with a cousin, who has no criminal links, when the VW Golf pulled alongside and three occupants jumped out.
Mr Noonan ran and attempted to hide in a nearby garden but he was found and badly assaulted with an iron bar as he was being dragged to the car.
He was then bundled into the vehicle, which sped off. The incident was seen by a group of children and they notified a local woman, who alerted the gardai. Officers arriving at the scene found bloodstains on the pavement and sealed off the area for a forensic examination.
Blood was also discovered on the car seized in Ashbourne on Saturday afternoon.