James Nolan appearing in court

Read more: Severed arm of missing rapist washes up on Dublin beach
Irish police believe the convicted rapist, whose dismembered arm was discovered on a Dublin beach earlier this year, may been dumped off Howth Head, outside a fishing village north of the city.
Police investigating his murder believe that the 46-year-old career criminal may have been dumped in the Irish Sea having been murdered in North Dublin.
James Nolan was last seen in December 2010 having been released from prison in November where he served 18 months of a three-year sentence for burglary. His arm, cut off at the shoulder and missing all fingers, was discovered on Dollymount Strand in February.

A local source told the Evening Herald. “One theory being examined is that James Nolan's body was dismembered and thrown off a pier at Howth…Some of the remains may have ended up in the Irish Sea but the arm, and possibly other parts, were blown into shore."
The murders had made every effort to make sure that Nolan was not identified. The tattoo on his arm had been erased before it was thrown into the sea.
The source said “His arm was hacked off at the shoulder and his fingertips cut off to hamper identification."
Nolan had been released from prison in November under the condition that he present himself to the Probation Services on a regular basis. He turned up for his meeting in early December. However he was being actively sought be the authorities because he failed to show up for his visits over the following weeks.
The police have also established that he stopped using his cell phone around this time. They are also checking the activity on his welfare records to establish whether his welfare checks were being picked up.
Police have also discovered the Nolan came to the attention of the British police when he was stopped at the ferry port of Holyhead, Wales. He was using a false driving license. When this incident occurred has not been revealed.
The investigation are not trying to trace where Nolan was murdered and his body mutilated. Sources have said that Nolan, who had alcohol and drug addictions, was quick to make enemies.
Nolan had also been involved in a series of assaults as well as the burglary and rape for which he was convicted. In 1988 he was convicted of his involvement in the rape and false imprisonment of a woman. He was jailed for 14 years. In 2005 he was nabbed for a burglary in South Dublin. He served 18 months of his three year sentence.

Read more: Severed arm of missing rapist washes up on Dublin beach