Police in Ireland are digging up the garden of a murdered ex-cop, to see if a man they think he killed, is buried there.

On Tuesday diggers searched underneath the patio at the home of John Kerins, a former Garda who was shot dead at his remote rural home in Cornaveagh, near Bailieborough, Co Cavan, last November.

The 49-year-old was medically discharged from the Gardai several years ago, reports RTE.

The dead former cop was questioned then over the disappearance of his neighbor Gerard Daly, 43, some 18 months earlier.

Police investigating the disappearance of Daly, last seen in June 2010, brought in diggers as they launched a major search operation at the home of Kerins.

It is understood the pair were planning to go into business together, breeding security dogs for business before Daly vanished.

Meanwhile two men were arrested in connection with the murder of Kerins on Monday.

“Both men are detained at Carrickmacross Garda Station under Section 50 - Criminal Justice Act 2007,” a police spokesperson confirmed.

“A number of searches are also taking place in the Bailieborough area in connection with this on-going investigation.”

The family of missing man Daly, who was 42 when he vanished, expressed hope that their search was finally coming to an end.

“We hope and pray that this will be the day we find our brother, Gerard,” they posted on a Facebook page dedicated to finding Daly.

“This has been a very long day for our family. We would like to that all of you, our family and friends, for your continued support. We will continue our search for Gerard and will pray for the best outcome.”

Police search for remains of missing Dubliner Gerard DalyHandout