A murder investigation is under way following the discovery of a man's body in a field in Co Meath.

Paul Gallagher, 26, had been shot several times. His body was found by a farmer at around 5pm yesterday.

Mr Gallagher's body was removed last night to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda for a post-mortem examination.

He was well-known to gardaí and suspected of being involved in the murder of Real IRA leader Alan Ryan in September 2012.

Originally from Donaghmede in Dublin, his family reported him missing to gardaí in Drogheda three days ago.

It is believed Mr Gallagher went with another man to meet a group of men to collect money.

The scene remains sealed-off for a forensic examination.

Gardaí are appealing to anyone who saw a red Volkswagen Golf with a 01 Louth registration, travelling between Donaghmede and the Louth/Meath border on Monday night to contact them.

Anyone with information can contact Navan Garda Station on 046-9079930, the Garda Confidential Telephone Line on 1800-666-111 or any garda station.