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Thursday 22 August 2019

Suspects in custody as search called off for man feared murdered

Gardai suspect William Delaney was murdered
Gardai suspect William Delaney was murdered

Gardai believe a man, feared murdered after he went missing five months ago, was beaten to death and tortured after he was abducted from a Co Kildare street.

Gardai last night called off their search for the body of William Delaney (56), who they suspect was murdered just days after he left a psychiatric hospital in Portlaoise on January 31.

Two suspects remained in garda custody last night.

Both were known to Mr Delaney and included an 18-year-old woman and her boyfriend, a heroin addict aged in his 30s who is well-known to gardai.

The man is being detained at Portlaoise Garda Station, while the teenager is being questioned at Tullamore Garda Station.

Detectives suspect the criminal, who was released from jail days before Mr Delaney was allegedly abducted and killed, is his killer and the teenage female has key information about the alleged murder.

The missing man was accused of a serious assault against a young female known to him before he disappeared, as well as other allegations.

Mr Delaney had gone missing before officers had time to question him.

"Gardai believe this man was abducted and murdered by people known to him before there was ever a chance to question him about the allegations," a senior source said last night.

"It is suspected he was picked up off the street and driven to his death."

Mr Delaney was not reported missing until early March, more than five weeks after he was last seen alive.

Admissions

A senior source said the case was "very complex" and gardai were still attempting to establish the circumstances surrounding Mr Delaney's disappearance and suspected murder.

It is understood the man in custody is alleged to have made admissions to another family member relating to killing Mr Delaney - something he now denies.

The female teenager in custody, who is not the person who made the allegations against Mr Delaney, is suspected of withholding information in relation to the suspected murder.

Gardai were made aware of the suspect's admissions by a witness who contacted them.

The murder suspect is alleged to have said he disposed of Mr Delaney's body near the Rock of Dunamase in Portlaoise - which he also denies.

The spot has been the scene of garda searches this week with the help of the Defence Forces.

The search started last Tuesday after someone came forward and claimed Mr Delaney had been assaulted and buried near the area. However, searches have now been suspended pending a review of the case.

"Gardai have been dealing with a lot of lies in this case. It is very difficult but there is no chance that this man will show up alive," a senior source said.

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