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Tuesday 25 April 2017

Profile: Noel 'Duck Egg' Kirwan - what we know about latest victim in Kinahan-Hutch feud

A lifelong friend of Hutch, ‘Duck Egg’ also knew slain IRA figure

Noel Kirwan, left, with Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch
Noel Kirwan, left, with Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch
Gardai preserve the scene of a fatal shooting at St Ronan's Drive in Ronanstown, west Dublin. Pic:Mark Condren 23.12.2016
Gardai preserve the scene of a fatal shooting at St Ronan's Drive in Ronanstown, west Dublin. Pic:Mark Condren 23.12.2016
Gardai preserve the scene of a fatal shooting at St Ronan's Drive in Ronanstown, west Dublin. Pic:Mark Condren 23.12.2016
Gardai preserve the scene of a fatal shooting at St Ronan's Drive in Ronanstown, west Dublin. Pic:Mark Condren 23.12.2016
Gardai preserve the scene of a fatal shooting at St Ronan's Drive in Ronanstown, west Dublin. Pic:Mark Condren 23.12.2016
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

There is widespread shock and revulsion at the killing of Noel 'Duck Egg' Kirwan - a lifelong friend of Gerry Hutch.

The 62-year-old was well known in the north inner city and grew up in the Summerhill area of Dublin.

He was a close associate of Gerry Hutch when they lived in the same community and he played an active role in the anti drugs campaign in the 1990s.

Kirwan, nicknamed 'Duck Egg', was charged in 1996 with possession of a firearm or imitation firearm for the purpose of intimidation at Ballybough Road.

Garda forensics at the scene of the shooting in the Ronanstown area of west Dublin. Inset: Noel Kirwan, left, with Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch
Garda forensics at the scene of the shooting in the Ronanstown area of west Dublin. Inset: Noel Kirwan, left, with Gerry ‘The Monk’ Hutch

Kirwan also had close ties to slain gangland figure Eamon Kelly, who was shot dead by the Real IRA in Clontarf just over four years ago.

Read more: Close friend of Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch killed in front of his partner outside home

According to sources in the north inner city, Kirwan had not been involved in criminality for some time.

It is believed his association with Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch may have been the reason he was targeted. Kirwan drove The Monk to the funeral of his brother Eddie Hutch Sr in February.

It is understood Kirwan moved to Kilbarrack a number of years ago and had recently moved to a home in Ronanstown with his partner.

Locals in the area he grew up in were horrified at his brutal killing last night.

"He grew up in Jude's Gardens off Railway Street and lived in Summerhill for a number of years," a local source said.

"He would have grown up with some of the Hutch family, and it is my guess he was murdered because of this.

"It is ridiculous. There is no way he should be a target."

Kirwan (62) was gunned down shortly after 5pm at St Ronan's Drive in Ronanstown, west Dublin.

A lone gunman approached Kirwan as he sat in his Ford Mondeo vehicle outside his home.

His partner, who he was living with at the property, was with him at the time and saw the shooting, according to gardaí.

Superintendent at Lucan garda station Dermot Mann said Kirwan's partner is "uninjured but obviously very distressed".

Several shots were fired at the victim, including several to his head, before the assailant ran to a waiting van, where there was a getaway driver.

The Irish Independent has learned the victim's life was under threat and he was formally warned by gardaí just days after he chaperoned 'The Monk' to the funeral of his brother, Eddie Hutch Snr, in February.

Read more: Who was Noel Kirwan - Dublin's latest gangland victim?

Kirwan knew his life was in danger and had an elaborate CCTV system installed in his west-Dublin home after detectives warned him of the threat.

His killer lay in wait for him at St Ronan's Drive in Clondalkin and shot him multiple times in the head and body. Gardaí have launched a major manhunt for the gunman.

Forensic officers arrived at the scene shortly after 7pm yesterday as a tent was placed over a car outside the driveway of the home. A small van believed to have been used in the shooting was found burnt out at Neilstown Shopping Centre a short time later.

Vicious

Sources say that gardaí believe Kirwan was definitely targeted by the Kinahan cartel and it is the 11th murder linked to the vicious feud that was sparked by the shooting of Gary Hutch in September 2014.

It previously emerged that Kirwan's family home in Kilbarrack was targeted by members of the Kinahan cartel in August.

It is understood Kirwan moved to Kilbarrack some years ago and more recently had been living with his partner in Ronanstown.

His father worked in the docks and it is believed Kirwan inherited his father's unusual nickname from him.

Local TD Gino Kenny said "the tentacles and violence of this feud really are out of control" and an extra 10,000 gardaí wouldn't stop it. "Someone is eventually going to have to say down the line that it has to stop because it's just leaving a trail of misery across Dublin."

Kirwan's killing could see another wave of violence unleashed on the capital.

Irish Independent

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