independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Forensic test on glove key to killing of gangland boss

Gardai in Clontarf where a burnt-out car was found after the fatal shooting of Eamon Kelly in Killester

Gardai are pinning their hopes of an early breakthrough in their investigation into the Real IRA murder of gangland godfather Eamon Kelly on forensic tests.

A technical examination of a pair of gloves and the partially burnt-out getaway car may produce the evidence to capture the killer.

The gloves were recovered by an officer from the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) shortly after the arrest of a 32-year-old suspect following a chase.

Officers are also hopeful of securing evidence about the killer from the tests on the black Lexus car, which was found ablaze at Stiles Court, a cul de sac at the rear of the Clontarf cricket and rugby club on the northside of Dublin.

Gardai are satisfied that the Lexus had not been stolen but they have not yet traced the history of the vehicle.

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They believe that the Lexus was purchased by somebody, who gave a false name and address, and checks are continuing to find its last owner.

Kelly was shot three times in the chest with a handgun as he walked towards his home at Furry Park Road in Killester on Tuesday afternoon.

The gunman jumped out of the Lexus, as his accomplice slowed down, and immediately opened fire.

A large number of local people witnessed the shooting and, as the alarm was raised, garda patrols, which had been on anti-crime duties in the area, sped to the scene.

Uniformed officers and ERU personnel gave chase on foot after they found the Lexus ablaze and detained the suspect nearby.

The search continued in the Clontarf-Killester area for the second suspect but he was not found. Gardai now think that another car or a motorcycle could have been located nearby for the gang's escape.

The man in garda custody is from the Bluebell area of Dublin and is suspected of being a significant activist in the Real IRA.

He has served a sentence in the top-security prison at Portlaoise and had been friendly in the past with Real IRA faction boss, Alan Ryan, who was murdered in September.

But in the months prior to Ryan's murder the two men had an argument and the Bluebell/Inchicore group is thought to have been operating on their own and were closer to local criminals rather than the northside Real IRA faction.

However, gardai continue to believe that the main theory for Kelly's murder was that it was a retaliatory strike for the Ryan shooting and that some of the Bluebell group were trying to ingratiate themselves with the leadership of the new terrorist alliance, which included Ryan's faction.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Alan Shatter last night condemned the Kelly shooting, which was the 50th murder so far this year and the 15th gangland killing.

He said the criminals involved in the shooting had no respect for human life and were engaged in warfare with other gangs while ignoring the risks to innocent bystanders.

He said the gardai were making every effort to bring the killers to justice

This group described itself as the IRA but he branded them as "criminal terrorists".

Irish Independent

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