Stephen O'Meara: drugs debt

A post-mortem carried out on the remains of a man found in a shallow grave in Co Wicklow on Thursday is expected to reveal that he died from gunshot wounds to the head.

The medical examination is also expected to confirm that the remains were those of 26-year-old minor criminal Stephen O'Meara.

O'Meara was last seen on 6 August in Wicklow town after phoning his saying that he was on his way to meet somebody and would be home shortly.

Gardaí received reports of shots being fired in the hours after he vanished. It is thought that he was murdered by a local drugs gang in a dispute over a €20,000 drugs debt.

Sources say that the arrest on 21 December of a man in his 20s was key to gardaí receiving information about where the body was buried. He remains in custody.

The body was discovered at Ballydonnell near Red Cross, Co Wicklow, at about 2.30pm on Christmas Eve.

The partner of the father of three said this weekend: "the people who did this are cruel and evil".