Drug dealer is blamed for brutal gangland slaying
A SOUTH inner city drugs dealer is being blamed by gardai for the latest gangland murder in Dublin.
The victim was named last night as father-of-three Michael Kelly (27), from Slievenamon Road in Drimnagh.
He was shot up to five times with a handgun, fitted with a silencer, as he walked close to the red Luas line near the junction of Davitt Road and Suir Road yesterday morning.
Gardai believe he was gunned down because of a row with the drug dealer.
They think Mr Kelly either owed money for drugs or had become involved in a dispute over "territory".
He was known to local gardai but was not regarded as a major crime figure in the area.
Officers said he had criminal convictions for possession of drugs and for road traffic offences.
Mr Kelly had left his partner, Vickie Ryan, at Slievenamon Road and was walking in a green area, known as the dry canal bed, at Grand Canal View, shortly before 10.30am when he was attacked.
A lone gunman ran towards him and fired four or five shots from a handgun. He was hit in the chest and stomach and as he slumped to the ground the gunman ran towards a waiting car, which was being driven by an accomplice.
The car, a metallic grey or lilac-coloured Opel Astra four-door saloon, was found burnt out a short distance away at Rialto Court.
The gun was discovered inside the car, which had a registration number 99 LH 5711.
Mr Kelly's body was found by two women, who contacted the emergency services, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. A post-mortem was being carried out last night at the city morgue in Marino by deputy State pathologist Dr Michael Curtis.
Mr Kelly, whose children are aged four months, 18 months and seven years, was originally from St Teresa's Gardens in the south inner city.
Gardai said he was regarded as a small-time criminal in the area and appeared to have fallen foul of a drug dealer. Officers described the gunman as 5ft 10in to 6ft tall and was wearing a sky-blue hoodie, with white shoulders.
After the shooting he ran off towards New Ireland Road.
Last night gardai appealed for witnesses and asked anybody who had spotted one or two men acting suspiciously near the dry canal bed or at Rialto Court between 10am and 11am to contact them.
They also sought help from passengers travelling on the red Luas line between the Fatima and Suir Road stops, during that time, to telephone the murder investigation headquarters at Kilmainham station on 01 6669700, or the confidential line on 1800 666111.
Justice Minister Alan Shatter, who was at a garda reserve graduation ceremony in Templemore, condemned the shooting and said it was "entirely unacceptable". He said the gardai were targeting individuals involved in this type of crime and he hoped the killer would be brought to justice.