BREAKING: Gardaí make arrests on suspicion of murder in Laois

Missing person search continues at historic Laois landmark

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

murder laois crime

Garda search at Rock of Dunamaise - inset missing man William Delaney.

Gardaí in Laois have arrested two people on suspicion of murder as part of an intensified search and investigation into the disappearance of a man in Portlaoise earlier this year.

The male and female were detained on Thursday, June 20 as the search of a site between Portlaoise and Stradbally was suspended at the historic Rock of Dunamaise.

Gardaí made the arrests as part of an ongoing investigation into the whereabouts of Mr William Delaney (56) who was reported missing by his family in January this year. He had been living in the Fieldbrook Estate at the time of his disappearance.

The male is being detained in Portlaoise Garda Station while Gardaí attached to the Laois Offaly Division have taken the female to Tullamore Garda station for questioning.

They can be detained for an initial six hours with extensions possible if further questioning is needed.

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Gardaí have sealed off roads around the search area at the Rock of Dunamaise since Tuesday to facilitate a comprehensive search by gardaí and soldiers. 

Gardaí are working on information provided by the missing man's family. The information provided indicated that human remains may be located at the Laois landmark.

Gardaí and soldiers have been forensically clearing an extensive area to establish if the details provided are accurate or are a malicious hoax. The resumes on Friday. 

It is believed that the two people, who are both from the Laois area, may have information that will allow this line of investigation to be clarified.

Relatives fear Mr Delaney may have lost his life. Garda Chief Superintendent John Scanlan moved to reassure them about the investigation and search.

"We will pursue every line of enquiry," he said.

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A helicopter attached to the Garda Air Support Unit was called to Laois on Monday to assist in the early stages of the search at the location. 

Garda HQ issued a missing person alert in January for Mr Delaney (56) who was reported missing from his home in Portlaoise on Wednesday, January 31.  He was originally a native of Tipperary.

William is described as 5" 6, with medium build, black/grey hair and blue eyes. Is it not known what Mr Delaney was wearing when last seen. 

It is not yet clear if the search location has been declared a crime scene. It has yet to be confirmed if evidence indicating murder or human remains have been located during the search.

Family members were on the scene on Tuesday as the search commenced.