Murder of journalist: Gardai arrest two men in connection with Eugene Moloney’s death
GARDAI today arrested two men in their twenties in relation to the murder of a former Irish Independent journalist who was assaulted on a Dublin city street.
Eugene Moloney (55) was punched in the side of the head and fell to the ground.
He was pronounced dead in hospital shortly afterwards.
Two young men were arrested in the south Dublin area today and are being held at Kevin Street and Pearse Street Garda Stations for questioning.
Gardai believe he may have been robbed as he lay unconscious on the ground as his wallet and identification were missing.
And it is understood that the altercation may have been captured on CCTV.
Mr Moloney was a highly respected journalist, who worked in the Irish independent head office in Dublin, but also reported extensively from Northern Ireland at the height of the Troubles.
He covered many of the terrorist atrocities for this newspaper and other major events such as the Drumcree protest marches.
Mr Moloney lived alone at Portobello Place on the south side of the city and was on his way home when he was attacked.
He was walking near the Ulster Bank in Camden Street around 4.30am when a man shouted abuse at him.
Mr Moloney turned to face the man and was exchanging words with him when a second man came from behind and struck him on the side of the head.
He fell to the ground and his attacker and accomplice fled.
Passers-by spotted him lying on the ground and summoned an ambulance.
He was given medical attention at the scene and then taken by ambulance to St James' hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
A murder investigation was launched yesterday afternoon after a post mortem examination confirmed that he had died from serious head injuries as a result of the assault.
Last night an investigation headquarters was set up at Kevin Street garda station where an initial case conference was held.
Officers are examining footage taken from CCTV cameras operating in the area.
They hope the evidence from the cameras will provide them with valuable clues to the identity of the attacker.
Officer said they were following up a number of leads as a result of their early inquiries.
Experts from the Garda technical bureau were also called in and the scene was preserved while they completed their examination of the spot where Mr Moloney was murdered.
He had recently returned from teaching English in Hanoi, Vietnam, where he had spent the last couple of years.
His last story on the Ulster Bank computer fault appeared in the Irish Daily Mail on Saturday.
Mr Moloney joined the 'Evening Herald' from 'The Irish News' in the 1980s, and went on to work on the Irish Independent. In recent years he had worked as a freelance journalist in Dublin.
Group Managing Editor of Independent Papers Ireland Michael Denieffe said last night: "On behalf of Independent Newspapers, I want to express our shock at the untimely death of our former colleague, Eugene Moloney. He was a resourceful and fearless journalist.
"It is a tragic irony that Eugene has died in an incident similar to many he would have recorded in his years working for the 'Evening Herald' and the Irish Independent. Our sympathies go to his family and friends."
'Irish News' editor Noel Doran said he was deeply shocked by the death of his good friend Eugene Moloney.
"Eugene and I studied journalism together at the former College of Business Studies in Belfast in the late 1970s, and went on to share flats over a number of years.
"Eugene was a talented and respected reporter with 'The Irish News' during the height of the troubles and was also the paper's music columnist for a lengthy period. He interviewed a wide range of visiting artists in Belfast, and had a fund of anecdotes about his experiences."
Mr Maloney was described as "a happy-go-lucky native of Donegal, who was very popular with his colleagues," by the Irish Independent NUJ chapel.
"An old-school hack, he was noted for his ability in the field to uncover a story. He reviewed many gigs during the years and was a great fan of Bob Dylan and country and western music," it said in a statement.
NUJ Irish secretary Seamus Dooley also paid tribute to him.
Gardai have sealed off an area of Camden Street for forensic examination and asked for anyone near the pedestrian lights on Camden Street between 3.45am and 4.30am to contact them on (01) 6669400.