Tuesday 19 September 2017

Foreign national with links to missing men flees area

Eoin O'Connor (L) and Anthony Keegan
Eoin O'Connor (L) and Anthony Keegan

Paul Williams

A FOREIGN national with criminal links has left his Co Cavan home since the disappearance of Dubliners Eoin O'Connor and Anthony Keegan in the same area two weeks ago.

The Irish Independent has learnt that gardai have been trying to locate the man after they searched a number of properties on the shores of Lough Sheelin last Wednesday.

It is understood that investigators have established that the missing pair – who are both from Coolock, north Dublin – went to visit the man on Tuesday, April 22 – the day they were last seen alive.

The two men, who it is feared have been abducted and murdered, may have travelled to collect a debt from the man at his home.

Last week the Irish Independent revealed that the missing men had also travelled to Ballyjamesduff the previous day, Monday, to collect a debt from a Dublin drug dealer who lives in the town.

That man, who is described as a drug and alcohol abuser, has himself gone into hiding since Mr O'Connor and Mr Keegan were reported missing by their families on April 23.

Garda sources say the man is "terrified" that he will be targeted by criminal associates of the missing men but they believe that he wasn't capable of carrying out such a crime.

He has confirmed to gardai that the men visited him on the Monday night before they went missing – but denied that he had anything to do with their disappearance.

Sources have now confirmed that the two men were also in contact with a foreign national who has lived in the area for several years.

He left the area shortly after the men were reported missing, and gardai now want to interview him about any possible contact he had with them.

The latest development emerged after gardai carried out the searches of buildings and the shoreline of Lough Sheelin near Mount Nugent last Wednesday.

As the search for Mr O'Connor (32) and Mr Deegan (33) enters its 13th day, gardai were still trying to piece together what happened.

It is understood that a number of possible suspects have been identified and that the men had "considerable interaction" in the Cavan area where several drug dealers had moved to over the past decade.

Irish Independent

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