A criminal investigation is underway after remains confirmed to be that of an adult human were recovered from the Royal Canal in Dublin's north inner city.

A Garda operation began early this morning at a section of the canal at Ballybough Bridge following the discovery of the remains there last night.

Gardaí believe the remains belong to that of a white male.

The remains were removed to Beaumont hospital and a post mortem examination was carried out by Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis.

The remains, which had been wrapped in a form of material, were found at a number of locations in water between eight and 12 feet deep beneath the bridge.

The Garda Water Unit carried out a preliminary search of this stretch of the Royal Canal. It is understood they identified two locations where body parts were discovered.

This afternoon, Chief Superintendent Michael Feehan of Fitzgibbon St, said that the death was a brutal incident.

He said that for operational reasons gardaí would not be revealing the extent of the man's injuries, but asked for anyone with information to contact Gardaí in confidence on 01 666 8400.

Chief Supt Feehan said it was possible that the man's body had been in the water for up to one week. He also said there may be another crime scene where the man was actually killed and renewed his appeal for assistance for the public in this regard.

He also asked anyone who has fears for the safety of someone who is missing to contact them.