Wednesday 22 October 2014

'If people could step into our world, they'd see how many lives have been destroyed' - Mother of gangland victim

Published 01/09/2014 | 12:33

Eoin O'Connor

The mother of one of the two Dublin men shot dead and buried on a remote island in Co Cavan has said she will never forgive his killers.

Eoin O'Connor (32) and his friend Anthony Keegan (33) disappeared on April 22.

Inchicup island, Lough Sheelin, Co Cavan, where gardai have discovered human remains, believed to belong to Eoin O’Connor, left inset, and Anthony Keegan after a month long search.
Inchicup island, Lough Sheelin, Co Cavan, where gardai discovered remains belonging to Eoin O’Connor, left inset, and Anthony Keegan after a month long search

Mr O'Connor had borrowed his mother Jean's car to travel to Ballyjamesduff with the other man.

But before he left he told relatives that if he did not return they were to contact gardai.

The pair failed to come home, and so Mr O'Connor's family raised the alarm.

From the outset it was believed both men had come to serious harm.

Mrs O'Connor's Ford Focus was found abandoned in the car park at Lough Owel near Mullingar three days later.

A month after that, fishermen who had travelled to Lough Sheelin reported a smell coming from Inchicup island, and gardai made the grim discovery of the decomposing bodies of both men.

Post mortems revealed they had both been shot in the head.

Read more: Faces of 10 gangland killings so far this year - and nobody charged

Mrs O'Connor said her son, whose daughters aged 10 and five returned to school last week, did not deserve to die like he did. I'll never forgive his killers.

"My son was no major criminal. The only things he lived for were his family, friends, dogs and football," she said.

"We think about him every minute of every day and it's just heartbreaking to think he won't be around to see his children grow up. We will make sure his daughters will never forget him, and we will always be there for them."

Mrs O'Connor also pleaded with anyone who has any information about her son's death to come forward.

"If these people could step into our world for 10 seconds then they would see how so many lives have been destroyed," she said.

Mr O'Connor's brothers, Rory and Brian, said they will continue the family's quest for justice, and have put up a reward for information to catch the killers.

"There's a gaping hole in our lives and we all just miss him so much," said Rory in an interview with a Sunday newspaper.

"When we went to Lough Sheelin we could hear the officers say it was Eoin because of his clothes, and this was heartbreaking.

"There must be girlfriends or friends of the killers out there who know what happened, and it's never too late for them to come forward."

He added that his late brother had no money and no enemies, and there was no reason why he should die so brutally.

"He was the last person you would think this would happen to because he was never involved in anything," he said.

Meanwhile, the chief suspect for the murders is believed to be in Africa.

One theory being explored by gardai is that Mr O'Connor was killed after travelling to Cavan for another man who wanted a €15,000 drug debt collected.

(The Herald)

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