Gangster and pal shot dead ‘after paying visit to tanning salon’
A HEROIN dealer and his friend were murdered by their backseat passenger when they drove into Dublin city centre after going to a tanning salon, an inquest has heard.
Michael ‘Roly’ Cronin (35) from Hampton Wood Green in Finglas, Dublin 11, and James Moloney (26) from Braithwaite Street in Dublin 8, were shot dead in their car at Summerhill in Dublin city centre on January 7, 2009.
Cronin was a well-known heroin dealer who was described as a “major player” in organised crime in Dublin in the High Court when the Criminal Assets Bureau sought an order to seize his assets following his death.
Dublin Coroner’s Court heard that the two men left the Tansun tanning salon in Finglas at around 7.40pm on the evening of the incident.
Their car was then sighted a number of times as they made their way into the city centre.
Detective Inspector Francis Sweeney said that in most of these sightings the two men were on their own.
However, there was a third man in the backseat of the car by the time they arrived at Summerhill at around 8.20pm.
Witness Ioan Samu said that he saw the car coming out of a side street and crashing into the railings dividing the road.
A man then stepped out of the rear driver's side door of the car and ran down a side street.
Gardai attending the scene initially thought it was a road traffic incident, but realised it was a shooting when another witness told them that he had seen the third man carrying a gun. Garda Stephen Lawless told the court that he could see smoke rising from Moloney’s neck.
Cronin was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival at the Mater Hospital and Moloney was taken to St James’s Hospital where he died two days later having never regained consciousness.
The post-mortem found that Cronin died as a result of a single close range gunshot to the back of the head and neck that would have rendered him unconscious immediately.
Maloney had been shot in the head, right shoulder and upper arm, with the injury to the head leading to his death.
The jury returned verdicts of unlawful killing for both men.